Chile delivers first rate cut since 2009 to 5%
LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Chile’s central bank delivered an unexpected, quarter-percentage point interest-rate cut to 5% late Thursday, the first reduction since July 2009. Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected, on average, the bank to hold the key rate at 5.25%. Policy makers at Banco Central de Chile noted in a statement a continued deceleration in emerging-market economies. It also highlighted that headline and core inflation in December was higher than expected because of prices for fresh and other foods, and pass-through from depreciation of the Chilean currency in the fourth quarter. Inflation expectations remain near the target, the bank said. The target stands at 3%.