- Title: Colombia may cut interest rate, Central Bank board member
- Date: 11th August 2017
- Summary: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING DOWN STREET
- Embargoed: 25th August 2017 17:32
- Keywords: Central Bank Jose Antonio OCampo inflation interest rates growth forecast expansion Reuters Summit
- Location: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA
- City: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA0066TPQLHF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Colombia's central bank may have scope for further cuts in the key interest rate after a surprise slowdown in inflation that will lead it to close the year within the target range, sooner then thought, a policymaker said late Thursday (August 10).
Inflation in July unexpectedly eased to its lowest level in two and a half years, hitting 3.4 percent and leading central bank board member Jose Antonio Ocampo to bet consumer prices could fall to within the 2-4 percent range by the end of 2017.
Interviewed late Thursday for the Reuters Latin American Investment Summit, Ocampo said the strong inflation print and weak economic growth may give "a little more margin" to discuss additional interest rate cuts to breath life into the sluggish economy. The seven-member board has been grappling for more than two years with the twin pressures of a weak economy, caused by the global drop in oil prices, and inflation that was well above the 2 to 4 percent target range.
The bank expects economic growth of 1.8 percent this year, but Ocampo is less optimistic, betting on expansion of just 1.5 percent. That is well below the government's 2 percent forecast. Although Ocampo said it too early to make interest rate projections for 2018, he did not rule out further reductions.
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