Central Bank Chief Says Colombia May Reduce Stimulus Over a Year

Colombia’s process of normalizing monetary policy after a period of record low interest rates may take about 12 months, according to the governor of the central bank, Bloomberg News reported. “In principle what we know is that we’ll go through a process that may take a year or so, taking the interest rate to a more normal level,” Villar said. Last month, Villar and his colleagues raised the key interest rate for the first time in five years, lifting it a quarter percentage point to 2% as the economy rebounds from last year’s slump. But the board split, with three of its seven members voting for a steeper increase after the recent spike in consumer prices. The bank will monitor inflation expectations, headline inflation, the strength of the recovery and the behavior of the jobs market in deciding its next moves, Villar said. Annual inflation accelerated to 4.5% in September, the fastest pace since 2017. Villar said that much of this is caused by the rise in prices of commodities that Colombia imports, including food. Even so, the bank is worried about these rises spreading and causing a more general inflation, he added. Read more.