February 7, 2017 / 8:33 PM / a year ago

Argentina central bank holds policy rate steady for 10th straight week

BUENOS AIRES, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Argentina’s central bank kept its monetary policy rate unchanged at 24.75 percent for the tenth consecutive week on Tuesday, citing lower inflation expectations.

Inflation expectations for 2017 fell slightly to 20.8 percent, a central bank poll of economists showed on Thursday, down from 21 percent a month earlier.

“The estimates and high frequency government and private indicators monitored by the central bank confirmed in recent weeks that in January the process of disinflation continued on course with the trajectory expected by the monetary authority,” the central bank statement said.

The bank is targeting inflation of between 12 percent and 17 percent in 2017. Consumer prices rose about 40 percent in 2016 with the economy in recession.

Beginning in March, the central bank will make interest rate decisions every two weeks, rather than every week, as it moves to normalize monetary policy. (Reporting by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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