Luis Carlos Villegas, president of the National Association of Businessmen, said the central bank should not keep increasing its benchmark rate, now at 9.75 percent, because the causes of an inflation spike are out of the bank’s control.”The bank has already gone too far with the interest rates,” Villegas said at a news conference on Wednesday.The central bank increased its reference interest rate by 375 basis points since April of 2006 in an effort to control the inflationary pressures that threaten its target of 3.5 to 4.5 percent for the second consecutive year.Villegas said between January and April the growth of industrial production was about 2.8 percent versus 7.7 percent expected for the same period last year, according to a survey conducted by industrialists.The state-run Department of National Statistics plans to release the official report on industrial production next week.Recent economic figures show signs that economic growth is starting to slow. (Reuters)
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