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Financial News: COLOMBIA: Central Bank Cuts Interest Rate

COLOMBIA: Central Bank Cuts Interest Rate

07/03/2017 - 16:53:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Colombia's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points, to 5.75% per year. The decrease, announced on Friday, was larger than the 25 bp cut expected by market analysts. According to the monetary authority, analysts' inflation expectations for December 2017 and 2018 are at 4.37% and 3.54%, respectively, slightly above the central bank's 3% target. The central bank also reported that in the last month oil prices fell and remain below the projection by its technical team for 2017. External demand remains weak and economic growth for this year is expected to be slightly higher than a year before. In this scenario, Colombia's risk premiums have risen, and the peso has depreciated compared to the dollar. There was unanimity in the Board to cut the benchmark interest rate, but divergence regarding the degree of the monetary policy loosening. Four out of seven Board members voted for the 50 bp cut. The remaining three voted for a 25 bp cut.

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