November 29, 2016 / 10:25 PM / a year ago

Argentina central bank cuts policy rate for fourth straight week

Nov 29 (Reuters) - Argentina’s central bank on Tuesday cut its benchmark interest rate to 24.75 percent, lowering it by 50 basis points for the fourth straight week, noting that it expected inflation to decline in line with its goals.

After keeping rates unchanged for six straight weeks, the monetary authority has now dropped rates by 200 basis points total in the past four weeks.

The central bank said the rate cut was in line with its goal for average monthly inflation of 1.5 percent or less in the final quarter of 2016 and annual inflation between 12 percent and 17 percent for 2017.

Economists expect full-year 2016 inflation to hit 39.4 percent before slowing to 19.7 percent in 2017. The government sees 2017 inflation at 17 percent.

Government data earlier this month showed inflation reached 2.4 percent in October, above the central bank’s target for average monthly inflation of 1.5 percent in the final three months of this year. (Reporting by Luc Cohen; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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