Chile central bank head sees interest rate staying low for a while

jueves 23 de abril de 2015 08:46 GYT

SANTIAGO, April 23 (Reuters) - Chile's central bank will keep the benchmark interest rate "relatively low" for "a prolonged period", bank governor Rodrigo Vergara said on Thursday.

The bank cut the rate 200 basis points between October 2013 and 2014 to stimulate a cooling economy, but has since held it while it waits for inflation to come down.

In March, month-on-month inflation was 0.6 percent, lower than the market expected, but the annual rate has been above the bank's 2 to 4 percent tolerance range for the last year.

"Beyond March's data, the annual inflation continues to be elevated and its convergence to 3 percent will be slower than we thought some months ago," Vergara said in a presentation at a business forum on Thursday. (Reporting by Anthony Esposito, Writing by Rosalba O'Brien)