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Argentine central bank holds benchmark rate at 27.25%

Banco Central de la República Argentina on Feb. 27 maintained its monetary policy rate at 27.25%, citing higher inflation than expected.

The central bank said high frequency indicators suggested inflation in February, at both the general and the core levels, was higher than the inflation recorded in January and the last quarter of 2017.

In January, Argentina's consumer price index, or CPI, showed variations of 1.8% in general price levels and 1.5% for the core component. "With these results, year-on-year inflation reached 25%, while its core component remained at 21.1%," BCRA said.

The regulator's monetary policy board lowered the interest rate by 150 basis points in its last two meetings in January, citing the search for a lower rate of disinflation, but hit the brakes in February due to higher inflation expectations.

The central bank said it will continue to manage its monetary policy to reach its intermediate inflation target of 15% in 2018.