The Colombian central bank’s monthly survey of inflation expectations
shows analysts expect the inflation rate for the full-year 2009 to be
4.65%, down from 4.94% a month ago.
The 42 analysts polled by the bank predict that consumer prices on
average in April will rise 0.45%, down from a 0.71% increase in April
The annual expectation is within the bank’s target range of 4.5%-5.5% set for this year.
In 2008, the inflation rate ended at 7.67%, above the bank’s target
range of 3.5% to 4.5% for the year. It was the second consecutive year
of missed target for the bank.
Consumer prices in March rose 0.50% and 6.14% in the 12-month period through March.
As inflation is expected to slow, analysts expect the central bank will
cut its benchmark interest rate to an average 5.31% at the end of this
year, down from a current 7%.
Analysts see the Colombian peso ending 2009 at COP2,505.83 to the U.S.
dollar. That would represent a 10% depreciation for the year and a 4.6%
depreciation from Tuesday’s close.
The Colombian peso has weakened 31% since June 17, when it hit its strongest level since 1999, to COP2,391.4 on Tuesday. (Dow Jones)