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SANTIAGO, July 30 (Reuters) - 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 2012.
"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 minutes said.
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 on Tuesday.