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Colombia quarterly growth slows as rates take effect

Monday, March 26, 2012

Colombia's economy grew at its slowest pace in a year in the fourth quarter versus the previous three months, a sign the central bank's year-long cycle of rate hikes to prevent overheating is taking effect.

The slower quarter-on-quarter growth, which was in line with weaker-than-expected January retail sales and industrial production, could convince the central bank to pause its rate increases at its Friday meeting after raising rates to 5.25 percent in February.

The tepid fourth-quarter expansion of 1.3 percent could ease concerns that rapid growth in consumer credit and a brisk full-year growth rate of 5.9 percent in 2011 -- one of the fastest in Latin America -- are spurring inflation.

Source: Reuters