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Minutes show Chile's central bank's May rate cut was not unanimous


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Minutes show Chile's central bank's May rate cut was not unanimous

Banco Central de Chile's decision cut its benchmark interest rate on May 18 was not unanimous, with board member Joaquín Vial voting to keep the rate unchanged, minutes from the meeting show.

Vial argued that the future looked somewhat better than the scenario depicted by the bank's research division, and he expressed doubts about the need for a further monetary stimulus, according to official minutes published by the regulator on June 2.

"As for the fundamentals of private consumption, the real wage mass was growing faster than a year ago, interest rates were lower and consumer confidence indicators showed some improvement," Vial said according to the minutes.

In reducing the rate by 25 basis points or 2.5% — the fourth cut of 2017 — Banco Central de Chile noted that Chile's annual inflation remained at 2.7% and is expected to meet annual targets. Private consumption was stable, in line with the performance of the country's labor market.