BUENOS AIRES Dec 13 Argentina's central bank
kept its benchmark 35-day interest rate at 24.75 percent for the
second week in a row on Tuesday, citing its effort to bring
inflation down to its targeted 2017 ceiling of 17 percent
despite private forecasts of a much higher rate.
Two weeks earlier the bank cut the 35-day rate 50 basis
points, the last move in a month-long monetary policy easing
cycle that was halted by a jump in inflation expectations.
A central bank poll released on Dec. 2 showed analysts had
increased their estimates of 2017 inflation to 20.2 percent from
19.7 previously. The poll showed economists expect consumer
prices to rise 40 percent this year.
"The central bank will continue to maintain a clear
anti-inflationary bias to ensure that disinflation continues
toward its target of 12 percent to 17 percent in 2017," the bank
said in its statement announcing its policy decision.
(Reporting by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)