May 15, 2017 / 6:36 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Colombia central bank sees 1st qtr growth at 1.3 pct versus year ago

(Adds quotes on inflation, interest rate)

BOGOTA, May 15 (Reuters) - Colombia’s gross domestic product likely grew 1.3 percent during the first quarter compared with the year-ago period, the central bank’s technical team said on Monday.

The prediction falls within the bank’s estimated growth range of 0.8 percent and 1.8 percent. Fourth-quarter expansion reached 1.6 percent last year.

“Economic figures for the first quarter of 2017 suggest that the dynamic of internal demand was weaker than what was estimated three months ago,” the bank said in its quarterly inflation report. Consumption would grow at “historically low levels,” the report added.

Board chief Juan Jose Echavarria hinted policymakers may not cut interest rates as sharply as they did at the April board meeting, saying there was reason to be “skeptical” that good news about inflation will continue.

Consumer prices have steadily fallen from nearly 9 percent in July last year.

Reporting by Bogota newsroom; Editing by Richard Chang

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