SANTIAGO, July 30 Chile's central bank
considered cutting its key rate in July, as the export-dependent
nation's economy slows and investment cools, the minutes of the
monetary policy meeting showed on Tuesday.
However, all five members of the bank's governing board
voted on July 11 to keep the rate steady at 5
percent, where it has been held since a surprise cut in January
"All the board members agreed that the best option was to
hold the monetary policy rate at 5.0 percent and a number of
them mentioned the need to include some downward bias for the
near future in the (July 11) press release," the minutes said.
Traders see the bank holding its benchmark interest rate
steady at 5.0 percent in August, but then cutting it by a
quarter-percentage point within three months and another 25
basis points within six months.
"All the board members stressed the slowdown in output and
demand," the minutes added.
Inflation was normalizing as expected and approaching the
tolerance range, while expectations continued to place consumer
prices around 3.0 percent in the bank's policy horizon, the
The central bank's targets annual inflation within a 2
percent to 4 percent range. Inflation in the 12-month period
through June was 1.9 percent.
Chile, the world's No. 1 copper producer, revised lower its
forecast for full-year gross domestic product growth to 4.6
percent from 4.8 percent on Monday, reflecting softer investment
and a slowing economy for the export-dependent country.
The national statistics agency is due to publish
manufacturing output and copper production data for June later