BOGOTA, April 18 Colombia's central bank could
feasibly cut the benchmark interest rate a half point at next
week's policy meeting as the monetary authority seeks to bolster
growth while inflation begins to decline, board member Adolfo
Meisel said on Tuesday.
Last month the bank cut its key interest rate a quarter
point - to 7 percent - for a second consecutive month in a bid
to boost consumer confidence and a sluggish economy even as
inflation remains higher than the bank would like.
Policymakers hope that lowering borrowing costs will help
the economy pick up speed amid weak production and consumption
figures in Latin America's fourth-largest economy.
The inflation rate, which at 4.69 percent is still above the
bank's 2 percent-4 percent target range, has been slowing in
recent months due to the bank's tightening cycle last year.
"Falling inflation and what's happening with inflation
expectations would point to it being feasible," Meisel said in
response to a question by reporters about a possible 50 basis
"What we have seen in recent months is good news on
inflation and therefore that has helped reductions in the
interest rate," he said.
(Reporting by Carlos Vargas and Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by
Helen Murphy; editing by Diane Craft)