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Colombia central bank could add liquidity measures, policymaker says

BOGOTA, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Colombia’s central bank board could still use whatever tools at its disposal to buoy up the economy amid fallout from a long coronavirus lockdown, a board member said on Thursday.

Analysts have predicted the seven-member board is set to end a cycle of rate cuts that added up to 250 basis points over the last seven months.

A more than five-month national coronavirus quarantine sent unemployment soaring and shuttered businesses, as the bank injected billions of dollars in liquidity.

The last rate reduction in September was backed by four of the seven board members.

“There is still space to use whatever tool the bank has at its disposal and which it has used up to this moment,” board member Arturo Galindo said in a virtual event.

“I don’t believe that in the future we won’t be able to continue thinking of carrying out liquidity injection if conditions require it, or market coverage operations like we also have done, if the situation requires.”

Deep uncertainty over economic recovery remains, Galindo added, though there has been recovery in the third quarter. The bank predicts Gross Domestic Product will contract between 6% and 10% this year.

Reporting by Carlos Vargas; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Richard Chang

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