December 26, 2017 / 8:48 PM / a year ago

Argentina central bank holds policy rate at 28.75 pct

BUENOS AIRES, Dec 26 (Reuters) - Argentina’s central bank held its benchmark seven-day interbank lending rate unchanged at 28.75 percent on Tuesday, the monetary authority said in a statement.

A survey of economists published earlier this month showed median inflation expectations had risen to 23.5 percent for 2017 and 16.6 percent for 2018, above the bank’s target ranges of 12-17 percent and 8-12 percent, respectively.

In its statement, the central bank said that while core inflation was falling, hikes in regulated prices in December could impact the consumer price index. President Mauricio Macri’s government has been reducing subsidies for utilities consumption in order to lower the fiscal deficit.

Consumer prices in Argentina rose 1.4 percent in November, bringing the national inflation rate to 21 percent for the first 11 months of the year, according to the most recent government data released earlier this month. (Reporting By Walter Bianchi, Luc Cohen; editing by Grant McCool)

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