Home Economic Indicator Colombia’s finance minister expects two rate cuts by year-end for economic recovery.

Colombia’s finance minister expects two rate cuts by year-end for economic recovery.

Colombia’s finance minister expects two rate cuts by year-end for economic recovery.

Colombia Eyes Rate Cuts to Boost Economic Recovery

Colombian Finance Minister Ricardo Bonilla is optimistic about the country’s economic recovery, revealing plans to cut benchmark interest rates in the coming months.

Bonilla announced that the Ministry of Finance is working closely with the central bank to reduce the benchmark interest rate from 13.25% to 13% at the October policy meeting. He further emphasized the expectation of another rate cut before the end of the year, with December being the target month.

The finance minister believes that reducing the key rate will send a strong message to all banks, as the current rate poses a significant obstacle to economic recovery. Bonilla highlighted the importance of this move in stimulating economic growth.

In September, the central bank maintained the key rate at 13.25% for the third consecutive time due to persistent inflation concerns. However, Bonilla predicts that inflation will reach 9.2% by the end of 2023.

Bonilla, who represents the government on the board, has been a vocal advocate for rate cuts. During the September meeting, two board members voted in favor of a decrease, while the remaining five voted to keep borrowing costs stable.

Colombian President Gustavo Petro expressed disappointment over the September decision and expressed hope for future cuts. The country’s consumer prices rose by 0.54% in September, resulting in a cumulative 12-month price growth of 10.99%, surpassing the central bank’s long-term target of 3%.

Despite the challenges, Colombia’s technical team at the central bank expects the economy to grow by 0.9% this year, compared to the remarkable 7.3% expansion in 2022.

Impact of Global Events on Colombia

Bonilla also touched upon the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, stating that it will likely impact oil prices. He mentioned the possibility of a potential hike in domestic fuel prices as a result.

Looking ahead, Bonilla expressed optimism about the government’s efforts to reduce poverty and inequality. He expects Congress to pass significant labor, pension, and health reform bills in the first half of 2024.

Colombia’s plans for rate cuts and economic recovery show determination and resilience. With a supportive fiscal framework and strategic policies, the country aims to overcome challenges and pave the way for a brighter future.