TEGUCIGALPA, Feb 7 (Reuters) - The central bank of Honduras will lower its benchmark interest rate on Monday to 6.75 percent, the first cut in nearly three years, in a move aimed at accelerating economic growth, the bank’s president said on Saturday.
The 25 basis point rate cut will be the first since May 2012, and comes at a time when monthly inflation fell for the first time since late 2008.
“This decision is largely due to both internal and external conditions that encourage us to allow a gradual reduction of the benchmark interest rate so that the country’s economy is reactivated,” said Marlon Tabora, the central bank’s president.
The economy of the Central American country grew by 3.1 percent last year, and is expected to expand between 2.5 and 3.5 percent in 2015.
The central bank said January inflation fell 0.39 percent due mostly to falling fuel prices, the first drop in average prices since November 2008 when inflation fell by 0.2 percent.
The bank added that it expects the government’s fiscal deficit to fall by 3.4 percent in 2015.
Last year, the deficit reached 4.9 percent of gross domestic product. (Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Alexander Smith)