translated from Spanish: Central Bank keeps interest rate at 1.75%

At its Monetary Policy Meeting, the Central Bank Council agreed to keep the monetary policy interest rate at 1.75%, a decision taken by the unanimity of its members. In the external scenario, developments around the U.S.-China trade war continue to influence the behavior of global activity and financial markets, adding the impact of idiosyncrasic factors on the worst performance of Latin America. Activity and trading have been in line with what is expected. In this context, global monetary policy has remained expansive and stock indices have risen in major economies. With swings, long-term interest rates and the multilateral dollar are at levels similar to those of the Previous Meeting, as does the price of copper and oil, the Central Bank explained. in various areas of the economy and financial markets, leading to an increase in uncertainty. This has resulted in increased country risk perception, deterioration of stock indicators and increases in fixed income rates and corporate spreads. The Bank has taken a number of measures aimed at promoting market liquidity and mitigating volatility in key financial prices. The peso had a significant depreciation that, beyond the level reached by the exchange rate, occurred with a rapid it and succession of movements in the same direction that generated volatility that was deemed excessive. In this context, the Council announced a programme of exchange rate intervention which began operations on 2 December, which has succeeded in reducing this volatility. Credit conditions have also been affected, as reflected by a special consultation of the Bank Credit Survey that reports lower demand for credit in some sectors and more restrictive supply for individuals and businesses. Activity and demand have been negatively affected and growth expectations for this year and next have deteriorated, pointing to significantly lower expansion rates than projected to mid-October. The labour market is already showing signs of deterioration, as indicated by various sources of information. In turn, the confidence of homes and businesses has fallen sharply. In this context, the Government announced a set of reactivation measures involving a significant increase in fiscal spending by 2020.A October, annual inflation stood at 2.5% and market expectations suggest that it will close the year at close values or something 3%, reporting the sharp depreciation of the peso. Two years a term, the different measures of expectations are 3%. The trajectory of inflation on the monetary policy horizon will be determined by two key factors. On the one hand, the lower inflationary pressures that result from the greater capacity gaps and, on the other hand, cost pressures greater than those considered in the past —in particular, by the idiosyncmatic nature of the recent depreciation of the peso. The uncertainty around the evolution of the macroeconomic scenario is greater than usual, so it is still early to determine which of these factors will prevail.» In line with the achievement of the inflation target, and against a backdrop of increased fiscal momentum and exchange rate intervention, the Council foresees that the Monetary Policy Rate will remain at its current level over the coming months. The Council reaffirms its commitment to conduct monetary policy flexibly, so that projected inflation is 3% over the two-year horizon,» he said. The December Monetary Policy Report, which contains the projections and analyses underpinning the Council’s decision, will be published tomorrow Thursday at 08:30.

Original source in Spanish

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