July 6, 2016 / 12:54 AM / 2 years ago

Argentine central bank cuts reference rate for ninth week in a row

BUENOS AIRES, July 5 (Reuters) - Argentina’s central bank on Tuesday slashed its 35-day reference interest rate for the ninth week in a row, saying pressures reversing inflation appeared to be in line with the bank’s expectations.

The bank cut the reference rate by 50 basis points to 30.25 percent, making local bonds less appealing and if policymakers have their way, encouraging investment and growth.

A central bank poll showed the market expects July inflation to be 2.2 percent, and inflation over the next 12 months to be 22.5 percent, the bank said in a statement.

National statistics agency Indec will publish June inflation data next week.

Consumer prices rose 4.2 percent in May and the finance minister estimated that 12-month inflation through May was 40 to 42 percent, but said he saw inflation easing in June.

Since taking office in December, Argentine President Mauricio Macri has tried to revive the economy through free-market measures. He let the peso float, reduced energy subsidies and got rid of export taxes and quotas.

But the country’s poor have been hit hard by rising food prices and utility bills. (Reporting by Joanna Zuckerman Bernstein; Editing by Bill Rigby)

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