BUENOS AIRES Dec 20 Argentina's central bank
kept its benchmark 35-day interest rate at 24.75 percent for the
third week in a row on Tuesday, saying inflation was falling
closer to its target.
The bank has a goal of average monthly inflation of 1.5
percent for the final three months of 2016 and said it was close
to completing that goal, even though consumer prices rose 2.4
percent in October and 1.6 percent in November.
"Considering that monetary policy operates with delays and
that the information available confirms the bank is close to
meeting its inflation target for the final quarter, this
institution focuses on monetary policy that will comply with its
inflation target for 2017," the statement said.
The bank raised eyebrows among economists when it lowered
rates for four straight weeks starting Nov. 8.
A central bank survey in early December showed economists'
inflation expectations for 2017 rose to 20.2 percent. The bank
is targeting inflation of up to 17 percent next year.
Inflation is expected to finish 2016 at around 40 percent.
(Reporting by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Peter Cooney)