Chile’s central bank is seen holding its key interest rate steady at 5.0 per cent for at least three months, but then raising it within six months, according to the bank’s fortnightly poll of traders published on Wednesday.
Traders expect the rate to rise to 5.13 per cent in 6 months, according to the median forecast of 60 market players polled, suggesting a divided market, with forecasts ranging from 5.0 per cent to 5.50 per cent.
The previous fortnightly poll had forecast the rate would rise to 5.25 per cent in 6 months.
On inflation, the poll’s expectations were that consumer prices would rise 0.1 per cent in April, after a milder-than-forecast 0.2 per cent rise in March.
Inflation is seen at 3.2 per cent in 12 months, easing slightly from a forecast for 3.35 per cent in the previous fortnightly poll and closing in on the bank’s target rate of 3.0 per cent.
The peso is seen trading at 490 per dollar in 7 days, slightly weaker than the 486.50 per dollar it was trading at in on Wednesday morning trade. Chile’s central bank held its key rate steady at 5.0 per cent last week for a third month running.
The market expects rate hikes later this year in the world’s No. 1 copper producer, in stark contrast to forecasts for cuts just a couple of months ago, as a softer-than-feared economic slowdown offsets concerns about the health of the global economy.