Colombia inflation forecast higher in 2022, faster rate hikes seen

Colombia inflation forecast higher in 2022, faster rate hikes seen
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BOGOTA, Feb 16 (Reuters) – Inflation estimates for Colombia this year rose and predictions of interest rate rises quickened among analysts polled in a central bank survey.

The 40 analysts surveyed by the bank expect inflation to end the year at a median of 5.44%, above the 4.48% recorded in January’s poll, and well away from the bank’s long-term target of 3%.

Prices will rise 1.27% in February, analysts said in the poll published late on Tuesday, taking 12-month inflation to 7.62%. The 12-month figure was 6.94% in January.

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Consumer price rises will decrease to 3.69% at the close of 2023, those polled said.

Analysts expect the bank’s seven-member board to raise borrowing costs by a median of 100 basis points to 5% at its meeting at the end of March, though some predicted a rate rise of 150 basis points.

Though policymakers will meet this month, they will not vote on the interest rate.

The survey was conducted between Feb. 7 and 11, before the government published growth figures of 10.6% for 2021, which may push policymakers to raise rates more quickly in a bid to curb inflation.

Further rises of 100 basis points and 50 basis points will come in April and June, those polled said, taking the interest rate to 6.50%, where it will remain through April next year before gradually being lowered.

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Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra
Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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