June 28, 2018 / 1:25 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Chile cenbank considered hike before leaving rates unchanged -minutes

(Adds context about considering hike)

SANTIAGO, June 28 (Reuters) - Chilean central bank policymakers, after a period of more than two years, considered a 25-basis-point hike in the benchmark interest rate at their June 13th meeting before deciding unanimously to leave the rate unchanged, according to minutes of the meeting released on Thursday.

Unlike previous decisions, policymakers considered three options in June, including increasing the interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point, leaving it unchanged or reducing it by 25 points. Ultimately they kept the key rate stable at 2.5 percent amid a gradual recovery of the economy and uptick in inflation.

Annual inflation was predicted to increase gradually to 2.9 percent within 11 months, according to a June 12 survey by Chile’s central bank.

In the poll, analysts believed the central bank would hold its benchmark interest rate at 2.5 percent through December, with an increase to 3.0 percent anticipated by May of 2019.

The last time the central bank considered a rate change was in April 2016. (Reporting by Antonio De La Jara, Cassandra Garrison Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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