(Adds bank’s comments)
SANTIAGO, Dec 29 (Reuters) - The decision to hold Chile’s benchmark interest rate steady at 3.0 percent at the central bank’s monetary policy meeting on Dec. 11 was unanimous, minutes of the meeting showed on Monday.
The bank’s five-member governing board weighed a rate hold as the only option at the meeting, the minutes also showed.
The bank cut the rate 200 basis points between October 2013 and October 2014 to stimulate a flagging economy, but has indicated it will now pause to give above-target inflation time to ease.
Inflation has stubbornly stayed above the central bank’s 2 to 4 percent tolerance range for several months and has proved a headache for monetary policy making.
“The high and persistent level of inflation, the recent depreciation of the peso, the evolution of the labor market and the fact that it was unclear whether the economy needed to intensify the monetary stimulus, also led to rule out the option of further cuts,” said the central bank.
“The current monetary stimulus was consistent with the convergence of inflation to the desired (2-4 percent) levels within the usual projection horizon.” (Reporting by Anthony Esposito; editing by John Stonestreet and Chizu Nomiyama)