June 8, 2018 / 3:40 PM / 10 days ago

HIGHLIGHTS-Colombia central banker on current account, growth

BOGOTA, June 8 (Reuters) - Colombian central bank board member Juan Pablo Zarate spoke at an economic conference on Friday.

• “In terms of current account deficit, studies from the (bank’s) technical team show a deficit of 3 percent is something that’s sustainable for the Colombian economy. We are close to what could be rational levels in terms of current account deficit and in terms of inflation.”

• “Colombia in the main scenario will have a moderate recovery. There are two sick sectors right now - mining and construction. Our prediction is that the economy will grow 2.7 percent this year.”

• “In internal demand - which were part of the adjustment - we are seeing signs of recovery.”

• “The first risk is external financing, it’s a risk for our growth, and disordered adjustment of the interest rates in the United States.”

• “A second risk for the 2.7 percent projection has to do with financing, people are more indebted. We will see how the development of portfolios and the aversion to risk goes.”

• “Private uncertainty is the third risk to investment, the political (uncertainty) will pass once the elections are defined.”

• “Our estimate for basic inflation is that we will be close to 3 percent and we will be there for several quarters ... which shows expectations are anchored to the target.”

• “Current monetary policy is expansive. The bank has a rate that today is pushing long-term economic growth.” (Reporting by Carlos Vargas, Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb)

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