Consumer prices down 0.19% in September

Colombian consumer prices fell
0.19 percent in September versus a rise of 0.08 percent in the
same month last year, the government’s statistics department
said on Wednesday.

Analysts in a Reuters poll this week predicted a September
consumer price rise of 0.11 percent. But an unexpected 1.24
percent drop in food prices during the month drove overall
prices lower, the DANE statistics department said in a
statement.

“This confirms that the central bank will probably start to
lower interest rates in the first quarter of next year, or
maybe even sooner,” said Camilo Perez, chief economist at Banco
de Bogota.

The bank, concerned about above-target inflation, has
resisted calls from popular President Alvaro Uribe and business
groups to cut its key rate from its current 10 percent.

In the first nine months of the year Colombian inflation
was 6.53 percent versus 4.67 percent in the same 2007 period.

The central bank has set a inflation target ceiling of 4.5
percent for full 2008. (Reuters)

 

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