BOGOTA: Colombia's central bank will hold its benchmark interest rate steady at 4.25 percent until at least March 2019, because inflation and growth expectations are close to their respective targets, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.
The 22 analysts surveyed agreed the seven-member board would vote unanimously to hold the rate for a seventh consecutive month at the Oct. 26 meeting.
Analysts' inflation expectations for this year increased moderately to 3.30 percent in the survey, up from 3.27 percent in September's poll, though they remain close to the bank's long-term target of 3 percent.
Inflation predictions for full-year 2019 were also up - to 3.33 percent compared with 3.2 percent in the most recent survey.
"Even if in the very short-term upward price risks seem to be controlled, a possible tax reform which could affect VAT may start to push expectations up," said Andres Naveros, analyst at Grupo Bancoldex.
Consumer prices will be up 0.11 percent in October, those polled said, taking 12-month inflation to 3.31 percent.
Economic growth estimates were up slightly to 2.7 percent, matching the government's growth prediction, from 2.6 percent in last month's survey.
Expansion expectations for next year also increased to 3.35 percent, from 3.2 percent last month. The increase comes after the International Monetary Fund slightly raised its outlook on Colombia last week.