(Adds quotes, current benchmark interest rate)
BUENOS AIRES, April 7 Argentina's March
inflation data shows the need to tighten monetary policy,
central bank chief Federico Sturzenegger said on Friday, adding
that the tightening had already started at the longer end of the
"The number that we saw in March basically convinced us that
we have to go and tighten monetary policy, which we have already
done," Sturzenegger told business leaders at a meeting of the
World Economic Forum. "We have already done a tightening over
the last month in the longer part of our yield curve."
The peso currency firmed slightly on the news to
15.37 per U.S. dollar.
March consumer price data is scheduled for release on
Tuesday. Inflation expectations in Argentina for 2017 rose
slightly to 21.2 percent from 20.8 percent a month earlier, a
central bank poll of economists showed this week, well above the
17 percent upper band of the bank's target.
The central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged
at 24.75 percent at its March 21 policy meeting and said it
remained cautious about monetary policy because of volatility in
(Reporting by Luc Cohen and Jorge Otaola; Writing by Hugh
Bronstein; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Lisa Von Ahn)