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POLL-Colombia central bank to cut interest rate to 5.50 pct

* reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=cpurl://apps.cp./Apps/cb-polls?RIC=COCBIR%3DECI detailed poll results

BOGOTA, July 21 (Reuters) - Colombia's central bank board is likely to cut the key lending rate by 25 basis points to 5.50 percent at its meeting on Thursday, in an effort to shore up faltering economic growth amid a decrease in inflation, analysts said in a Reuters survey on Friday.

Thirteen of 17 analysts polled said the seven-member board would trim the rate by 25 points, while the remaining four said the policymakers would opt for a sharper cut of 50 points, mirroring their June vote.

A cut would mark the sixth consecutive month of decreases and the seventh in a cycle that has shaved 200 basis points off the rate. Policymakers have been grappling for over a year with the twin pressures of low economic growth and high inflation figures.

Analysts also predicted a pause in cuts after August's meeting, when they said the board would slash the rate to 5.25 percent, the last decrease until cuts to 4.50 percent during 2018.

"We think the bank should cut 50 basis points, given the risks to economic growth," said Daniel Velandia, chief economist in Colombia for Credicorp Capital. "That not withstanding, we think the inclination is toward a 25 basis-point cut - inflation will bounce back up in August, so they want to wait to see how it behaves."

Those polled expected gross domestic product growth to slow to 1.6 percent this year, down from the 1.8 percent predicted in last month's survey and well below the government's 2.3 percent target.

Inflation will fall by 0.10 percent in July, the analysts said, totaling 3.56 percent during the past 12 months, within the bank's 2 to 4 percent target range. Expectations for year-end, however, stayed at 4.30 percent, the same as predicted in June's survey.

Analysts also maintained their figure for inflation at the end of 2018 at 3.5 percent. (Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Matthew Lewis)