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Colombian central bank holds benchmark rate steady

Banco de la República maintained its benchmark rate at 4.75% as Colombia's economic growth remained weak while inflation stayed above the central bank's target, Reuters reported.

In a statement, the central bank said that below-potential economic growth is expected to continue as indicated by recent economic figures.

"The space to continue lowering the intervention rate has been reduced," Reuters quoted the central bank as saying.

In the 12 months to November, consumer prices increased 4.12%, above the central bank's long-term target range of 2% to 4%, according to the report.

Seven policymakers voted unanimously to keep the rate unchanged.

Ahead of the monetary policy decision, Colombian Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas said the central bank should only resume rate cuts starting in January 2018. His remarks followed the country's recent downgrade by S&P Global Ratings.

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