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BOGOTA, June 21 (Reuters) - Colombia's central bank held its benchmark interest rate steady at 4.25% at its meeting on Friday, in a bid to boost the economy amid what it said would be temporary inflation increases.
The following is a Reuters translation of the statement accompanying the bank's decision:
The board took into consideration mainly the following information:
In May, the average of basic inflation measures (2.92%) remained below the target. Inflation stood at 3.31%. Some supply shocks could raise inflation in the coming months, but this will resume its convergence to the target later.
Economic growth for the first quarter of 2019 was lower than estimated. The new figures suggest that the economy will be more dynamic in the second quarter.
The outlook for global growth continues to moderate and in the United States the likelihood of a reduction in the policy interest rate of the Federal Reserve increased.
The projection of the current account deficit for 2019 is still higher than 4% of GDP, but will continue to be financed mostly by direct foreign investment.
Based on this information, the board pondered the following factors in its decision:
The transitory deviations of inflation with respect to the goal and the persistence of (the deviations).
The uncertainty about the size of excess production capacity and the speed with which it is reduced.
The effects on the Colombian economy derived from the changing external conditions.
In this environment, when assessing the state of the economy and the balance of risks, the board decided unanimously to maintain the reference interest rate at 4.25%.
The board will continue to carefully monitor the behavior of inflation and projections of economic activity and inflation in the country, as well as the behavior of the balance of payments and the international situation. Finally, it reiterates that monetary policy will depend on the new information available. (Compiled by Julia Symmes Cobb, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)