SANTIAGO, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Chile's central bank only
considered keeping its key lending rate on hold last month
against a backdrop of brisk domestic growth and controlled
inflation, the minutes of January's monetary policy meeting
showed on Friday.
All five members of the bank's governing board voted to keep
the rate steady at 5 percent, where it has been
held since a surprise cut in January 2012.
'It was estimated that maintaining the (rate) was justified
(because of) its current level being within a range of neutral
values. Moreover, the current level was consistent with
inflation converging to the target within the projection
horizon,' the bank said.
In standard monetary policy parlance, a neutral interest
rate neither spurs or curbs economic growth, all other factors
The bank is expected to keep rates steady at its Feb. 14
policy meeting, and the rate is likely to inch up to 5.25
percent in 12 months, the bank's fortnightly poll of traders
showed late last month.
Chile's consumer price index was flat in December, bringing
inflation in the 12 months to December to 1.5 percent, the INE
government statistics agency reported last month.
That is well below the central bank's target range of 2
percent to 4 percent and the lowest rate since at least December
Here's a link to the central bank's minutes: http://www.bcentral.cl/eng/policies/monetary-policy-meetings/pdf/minute_RPM_January2013.pdf
(Reporting by Santiago Newsroom; Writing by Anthony Esposito)
Keywords: CHILE CENBANK/MINUTES
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