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Argentina central bank holds policy rate steady for 6th straight week
January 10, 2017 / 9:06 PM / a year ago

Argentina central bank holds policy rate steady for 6th straight week

BUENOS AIRES, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Argentina’s central bank kept its monetary policy rate unchanged at 24.75 percent for the sixth week in a row on Tuesday, saying inflation was decelerating in line with its expectations.

The monetary authority said it was likely to comply with its goal of 1.5 percent average monthly inflation for the final three months of 2016. Consumer prices rose 2.4 percent in October and 1.6 percent in November, and the government was expected to publish December figures on Wednesday.

Tuesday’s announcement marked the second straight week in which the central bank used the seven-day interbank lending rate as its benchmark policy rate. In September, it said it would stop tying the rate to short-term Lebac securities.

Consumer prices rose about 40 percent in 2016 with the economy in recession. The central bank is targeting inflation of between 12 and 17 percent in 2017, though economists see it at above 20 percent.

The bank began targeting inflation last year after unorthodox monetary policymakers under Argentina’s previous president, Cristina Fernandez, unsuccessfully relied on printing pesos to keep the economy afloat during her two terms. (Reporting by Luc Cohen; Editing by David Gregorio)

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