UPDATE 2-Colombia's GDP growth slowed to 4.3 pct in Q2
(Adds analyst comment)
By Nelson Bocanegra
BOGOTA, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Colombia's economic growth slowed in the second quarter to a 4.3 percent pace from 4.5 percent a year earlier, failing to meet expectations as mining and manufacturing sectors shrank, the government said on Tuesday.
The deceleration may lead the central bank to hold the benchmark lending rate steady at its policy meeting next week after raising borrowing costs for five straight months.
Gross domestic product contracted 0.1 percent from the first quarter, said the statistics agency, known as DANE. First-quarter growth was revised up to 6.5 percent from 6.4 percent, giving first-half expansion of 5.4 percent.
A Reuters survey of analysts had expected 4.55 percent annual growth and a 0.55 percent uptick against the previous quarter. The central bank saw 4.3 percent growth.
"After this GDP figure and looking at the progress of other economic data, that in general is showing moderation instead of acceleration, I don't think there will be any surprises that would lead the bank to raise the rate any further this year," said Andres Pardo, chief economist at financial entity Corficolombiana.
"I don't think there will be very strong arguments to keep raising the interest rate."
Other economists, like Felipe Campos from Alianza Valores, see the seven-member central bank board alternating between pauses and rate increases in a bid to prevent inflationary pressure. Continuación...