* reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=cpurl://apps.cp./Apps/cb-polls?RIC=COCBIR%3DECI poll data
BOGOTA, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Colombia’s central bank board will hold its benchmark interest rate at its final meeting of the year and keep it steady until nearly the end of 2021, taking advantage of low inflation to continue bolstering the economy, analysts said in a Reuters poll on Thursday.
The twelve analysts surveyed agreed the seven-member board will keep borrowing costs at 1.75% at its Dec. 18 meeting.
It would be the third month in a row the policymakers have held the rate, after cutting 250 basis points between March September amid more than five months of coronavirus lockdown which shuttered businesses and sent unemployment soaring.
“We think given inflationary pressures are contained and the recover of (economic) activity is still being consolidated, there is sufficient space for the bank to maintain its monetary stimulus for a prolonged period,” said Itau analyst David Cubides. “We see a stable rate of 1.75% for much of next year.”
Those surveyed said the next move in the rate would take place in December 2021.
The bank’s technical team estimates Colombia’s economy will contract between 6.5% and 9% this year, a more pessimistic prediction than the government’s projected contraction of between 6% and 7%. (Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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