Friday, October 28, 2011

Central Bank of Colombia Holds Benchmark Rate at 4.50%

The Central Bank of Colombia held its benchmark monetary policy interest rate unchanged at 4.50%.  The Bank said [translated]: "Given the global financial and economic risks and their potential effect on the Colombian economy, the Board considers it prudent to keep interest rate unchanged for intervention. However, if international confidence tends to be restored and if the internal real indicators continue with the current dynamism and no significant further spread of the external situation, it is likely that the economy requires less monetary stimulus. Latter in order to maximize the sustained growth of output and employment."

The Central Bank of Colombia's last change was an increase of the interest rate by 25 basis points to 4.50% at its July monetary policy meeting this year, following a 25bp increase in June.  Colombia reported annual inflation of 3.73% in September, compared to 3.27% in August, 3.42% in July, 3.23% in June, 3.02% in May, and 2.84% in April; which compares to the Bank's inflation target of 3%.  Goldman Sachs had previously forecast 2011 GDP growth at 5.5%, while Morgan Stanley had forecast just 4.9% growth for the Colombian economy.  

Colombia reported annual GDP growth of 4.8% in the June quarter and 5.1% in the March quarter, while the bank said the 2011 full year forecast of 4.5% - 6.5% is highly probable.  The Colombian peso (COP) has gained about 3% against the US dollar so far this year, while the USDCOP exchange rate last traded around 1,862.5


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