Colombia to Cut Tariffs to Fight Inflation

Colombia will reduce tariffs on almost 200 items next week in a bid to fight rapid inflation.

The cut will mostly be on the agriculture sector as a 20 percent surge in food prices were the main drivers of Colombia’s inflation in January, Finance Minister Jose Manuel Restrepo said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Wednesday.

Inflation went up to 6.94 percent year-on-year in January from 5.62 percent in December, according to government statistics. That is more than double the 3 percent target of Colombia’s central bank.

The central bank will need to continue tightening policy to control prices and tame inflation, said Restrepo, who chairs the central bank’s monetary board.

Last month, the central bank raised the policy rate from 2.5 percent to 4 percent in a surprise move.

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