- Title: Colombia may cut interest rate, Central Bank board member
- Date: 11th August 2017
- Summary: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA (AUGUST 10, 2017) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF COLOMBIA'S CENTRAL BANK BANK SIGN PEOPLE WALKING INTO BANK JOSE ANTONIO OCAMPO, CENTRAL BANK CO-DIRECTOR, DURING INTERVIEW (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) JOSE ANTONIO OCAMPO, LEADING CENTRAL BANK BOARD MEMBER, SAYING: "It was much better than what everyone was expecting. It was very strong data, so much so that I immediately sent a message to my colleagues on the board saying we are going to end up within the target inflation band, we will be slightly below 4 percent." OCAMPO DURING INTERVIEW (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) JOSE ANTONIO OCAMPO, LEADING CENTRAL BANK BOARD MEMBER, SAYING: "I think the data we are going to receive this week and next week is going to be rather negative, so, in principle, that would give room to continue discussing rate reduction."
- 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: LVA0016TPQLHF
- 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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