June 27, 2017 / 9:10 PM / a year ago

Argentine central bank keeps key rate unchanged at 26.25 pct

BUENOS AIRES, June 27 (Reuters) - Argentina’s central bank kept its benchmark seven-day interbank lending rate unchanged at 26.25 percent on Tuesday, the monetary authority said in a statement that estimated June’s inflation would be close to the 1.3 percent clocked inn May.

May’s increase in consumer prices brought 12-month inflation to 24 percent, well above the central bank’s 17-percent target ceiling. But with inflation generally declining from the 40 percent seen in 2016, economists say a rate cut is more likely than an increase over the medium term.

“Private and state estimates and indicators suggest that June’s inflation rate will be similar to May’s, although that would be higher than the monetary authority would hope to see for this time of year,” the bank said in the statement.

June’s rate will be announced early next month.

“The central bank continues its clear anti-inflationary bias to ensure the disinflation process continues toward the goal of a 12 percent to 17 percent inflation rate for 2017,” it said.

Private economists expect Argentine inflation to end this year at 21.6 percent, according to the median forecast given in the latest central bank poll. Analysts in the poll estimated that 2018 inflation would be 14.6 percent. (Reporting by Hugh Bronstein and Luc Cohen; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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