Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Colombia holds interest rate at 5.25%

Colombia’s central bank has kept the interest rate at 5.25% for the second month in a row as worries of inflation eased, the bank announced Monday.

The decision suggests the bank’s consistent interest rate hikes over the past year have calmed inflation amid strong consumer credit, Reuters news agency reported.

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The bank’s seven members unanimously voted to maintain the rate, meeting the projections of Reuters analysts.

“Inflation expectations have started to fall again and we expect that they will continue to move toward the mid point of the target range,” Central Bank chief Jose Dario Uribe told reporters.

The bank reported slightly negative growth in Europe and slow growth in the United States, the high price of Colombia’s oil and export commodities, and “boyant public demand” for both household consumption and investment as key factors in its decision.

“Credit growth to households remains high,” the bank reported, “indicating that households have significantly increased their level of indebtedness.”

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The average core inflation measure remained at 3%, while Colombia’s economy is expected to grow between 4% and 6% in 2012.

The bank will also exentend a policy of purchasing at least $20 million a day until November 2, to prevent excessive growth of the peso.

The Colombian economy grew by 5.9% in 2011, according to the government statistics agency DANE.

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