(Adds comments, detail from statement)
SANTIAGO Feb 14 Chile's central bank held the
benchmark interest rate at 3.25 percent at its
monthly meeting on Tuesday, but said fresh monetary stimulus was
probable in the short term.
Analysts' predictions leading up to the decision were split,
with some expecting a rate hold and others expecting a
The central bank cut the rate 25 basis points last month,
the first time in a year that it had moved the dial, as economic
growth and investment in the top copper exporter has remained
weak, while formerly above-target inflation has cooled rapidly.
"Inflation expectations at the end of the policy horizon are
around target, although over the next few months they will be in
the lower part of the tolerancy range," the bank said in its
It also maintained its bias towards further stimulus.
"The board estimates that in the most probable scenario it
will be necessary to increase monetary stimulus in the short
term," it said.
(Reporting by Santiago bureau; Editing by James Dalgleish)