UPDATE 1-Colombia cenbank sees 2015 GDP growth at 3.5 to 6 pct

lunes 4 de agosto de 2014 15:08 GYT

(Adds comment, detail on interest rate)

BOGOTA Aug 4 (Reuters) - Colombia's central bank sees healthy economic growth both this year and next with inflation under control, bank chief Jose Dario Uribe said during a quarterly economic presentation on Monday, citing consumer confidence and credit levels.

The economy will likely grow between 3.5 and 6 percent in 2015, while inflation will probably end that year around 3 percent, the same level as forecast for this year.

"We want to maintain an interest rate that keeps inflation around 3 percent and the economy growing around its potential," Uribe said.

"All the information we have shows that consumption will maintain an important pace ... equal to and even maybe superior to the average of the last 10 or 12 years."

The economy has accelerated this year to levels that surprised the market, expanding 6.4 percent in the first quarter and prompting Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas to consider raising his growth estimate for 2014 from 4.7 percent.

The United Nations' body for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) said on Monday it expected the region to grow 2.2 percent in 2014, below its previous forecast. Colombia was the only economy ECLAC revised upward among Latin American nations like Brazil, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.

Colombia's economy is producing close to its maximum capacity, Uribe said, narrowing a so-called negative output gap and allowing strong growth without spiking inflation.

The bank sees the economy accelerating at 4.3 percent in the second quarter, Uribe said.   Continuación...