Some Colombia central bank members favored 50-pt hike - minutes

miércoles 30 de diciembre de 2015 14:48 GYT

BOGOTA Dec 30 (Reuters) - Some members of Colombia's central bank board favored raising the benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points at its last meeting, minutes showed on Wednesday, as the country grapples with higher-than-expected inflation.

The board voted by a majority earlier this month to increase the rate by a quarter point to 5.75 percent, meeting the expectations of 24 of 29 analysts in a Reuters poll.

But some members felt a 50-point hike was needed to damp inflation and strengthen the board's credibility, which investors say should have reacted sooner to consumer price pressures.

"Lower rises could be insufficient to anchor inflation expectations to the goal and strengthen the credibility of monetary policy, making inflation convergence to the goal slower and more difficult and requiring future rate rises which could coincide with pronounced deceleration in spending and production," minutes from the Dec. 18 meeting said.

The minutes did not reveal how many board members favored a 50-point increase.

The majority of board members feel a series of rate rises will strengthen the bank's commitment to its long-term inflation goal of 2 percent to 4 percent, the minutes said. (Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Alan Crosby)