BOGOTA Jan 4 Some members of Colombia's central
bank called for half-point cut in the benchmark lending rate at
last month's policy meeting as economic growth showed signs of
"ostensible deterioration," the minutes showed.
The seven-member board on Dec. 21 voted to reduce the
lending rate a quarter point to 4.25 percent after surprisingly
weak third quarter data for gross domestic product showed the
economy had slowed more than expected.
After keeping the rate steady since August, the bank last
month cut borrowing costs, joining countries like Brazil that
sought to shield their domestic economies from slack demand
Feeble quarterly numbers in construction, mining and civil
works set off alarms that the global crisis had hit Colombia
harder than previously thought and may further damage the
nation's economic drivers in the coming months.
The central bank said growth in 2012 would likely be less
than 4 percent.