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Chile central bank lowers interest rate to 5.75%, more cuts expected



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Adds quote in paragraph 6, inflation data in paragraph 7, vote details in paragraph 11

By Aida Pelaez-Fernandez and Fabian Cambero

SANTIAGO, June 18 (Reuters) -Chile's central bank loweredits benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 5.75% on Tuesday, in line with market expectations, in a bid to boost the South American country's economy.

The bank's board votedfour to one in favor of the cut, withthe dissenting board member preferring a 50-basis-pointcut.

Analysts in apoll from the bank published last week estimated the interest rate will likely decline to 5% over the next five months.

In a statement, the central bank saidthat if its economic scenario materializes, including expectations for internal demand, copper prices and power rates, the central bank will likely have finished most of its rate cuts in the first half of this year.

With Tuesday's rate cut, the central bank has cut rates four times this year, for a total of 250 basis points in reductions.

"The central scenario for June's report considers that the monetary rate will continue to reduce during the monetary policy horizon, at a pace that will take into account the evolution of the macroeconomic scenario and its implications for inflation's path," the central bank said.

The annual inflation rate in the world's top copper producer peaked at 14.1% in August 2022 and dropped to 4.1% in May.

The bank's next monetary policy report will be published on Wednesday and is set to include "details of the central scenario, the sensitivities and risks surrounding it and its implications for the future evolution" of the key lending rate, according to the statement.

The 25-basis-point reduction approved on Tuesday followsrate cuts of 50 basis points in May, 75 basis points in April, and 100 basis points in January.

The bank's vice president, Stephany Griffith-Jones, voted for a cut of 50 basis points, while central bank President Rosanna Costa and three other board members approved the 25-basis-point cut.



Reporting by Aida Pelaez-Fernandez and Fabian Cambero; Editing by David Alire Garcia and Leslie Adler

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