Colombian central banker sees more rate hikes to tame inflation

miércoles 3 de febrero de 2016 13:04 GYT
 

BOGOTA Feb 3 (Reuters) - Additional increases in Colombia's benchmark interest rate are necessary to anchor inflation expectations, central bank board member Carlos Gustavo Cano said on Wednesday, as the country grapples with rising consumer prices.

The bank raised its key lending rate by 25 basis points to 6 percent last month, the fifth consecutive monthly rate hike.

"In my opinion we haven't finished this phase of adjustments, we need more adjustments, they are necessary, inevitable," Cano said at a business conference in Bogota.

A majority of analysts expect the central bank will raise its key lending rate until it reaches 6.5 percent in March.

Colombia's inflation rate was 6.77 percent in 2015, the highest annual rate in the last seven years, and analysts expect it to remain well above that figure for the first half of this year.

Based on market polls and the central bank's technical models, inflation is running above the bank's target range of 2 percent to 4 percent, Cano said. (Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Paul Simao)