September 27, 2016 / 3:52 PM / in 2 years

No space for Colombia interest rate cut until CPI falls-finmin

BOGOTA, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Colombia’s benchmark interest rate should not be cut until high inflation figures have fallen further, Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas said on Tuesday, ahead of a central bank board meeting this week.

The seven-member board held the key lending rate steady at 7.75 percent in August, after nearly a year of consecutive increases aimed at curbing inflation, which stands at more than double the upper limit of the bank’s target range.

“We have to wait until the decrease in inflation is consolidated and wait for a future moment to reduce the rate,” Cardenas, who represents the government on the board, told journalists. “For now we must be patient.”

Twelve-month inflation reached 8.10 percent in August. The bank’s long-term target range is 2 percent to 4 percent.

Analysts unanimously predicted in a Reuters survey on Monday that the board will hold rates again at its meeting on Friday, and a majority said holds will continue until the end of the year. (Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Helen Murphy and Chizu Nomiyama)

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