BOGOTA (Reuters) - Analyst expectations for Colombia’s inflation rate this year moved further above the central bank’s 3% long-term target in a Reuters survey on Thursday, as an anticipated rise in food prices looked likely to last longer than previously thought.
Consumer price estimates for 2020 were also up, for the first time in six months.
Inflation will close this year at 3.9%, according to the median rate in the survey, up from the 3.81% predicted last month. Meanwhile, consumer prices will be up 0.17% in November, taking 12-month price growth to 3.91%.
Next year will end with a consumer price rise of 3.47%, those surveyed said, up from the 3.3% they have predicted since May.
“People are thinking that this shock on food prices will be more lasting and that’s why expectations are up,” said Camilo Perez, chief economist at Banco de Bogota.
“Perhaps the other factor that could explain the rise is the worry about the exchange rate, because on the radar is more pass-through and more inflation because of the devaluation,” he added.
The Colombian peso has depreciated 8% over the last 12 months.
The 12 analysts kept their 2019 gross domestic product growth predictions steady at 3.2%, but raised their expectations for next year to 3.3%, from 3.2% in last month’s poll.
The central bank board will hold its interest rate at 4.25% yet again at its December meeting and through much of next year, all the analysts said.
Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Richard Chang