September 12, 2018 / 10:55 AM / in 8 months

Five of 6 Bank of Israel MPC members voted to hold key rate at 0.1 pct -minutes

JERUSALEM, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Five of the six rate setters at Israel’s central bank voted to keep the benchmark interest rate at 0.1 percent on August 29, the same it has been for more than three years, minutes of the discussions showed on Wednesday.

For the fifth decision in a row, one member voted for a 15 basis point rate increase to 0.25 percent, given Israel’s rising inflation. Another member who voted for no change believes there should have been a hike but the markets are not yet prepared.

Israel’s inflation rate reached 1.4 percent in July, within the government’s 1-3 percent annual target range.

“The committee noted that the inflation environment continues to increase, supported by the accommodative monetary policy, and is it apparently beginning to become entrenched within the target range,” the minutes said.

The bank’s own economists project a rate hike in the fourth quarter. (Reporting by Steven Scheer, Editing by Ari Rabinovitch)

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