Petro Meets Colombian Central Bankers He Blamed for Weak Economy

(Bloomberg) -- President Gustavo Petro met with Colombia’s central bank board a day after accusing them of throttling the nation’s economic growth.

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The meeting at the presidential palace on Thursday explored “solutions that allow interest rates to be lowered for the benefit of citizens,” according to Petro’s press office.

The economy grew 1.1% in the first three months of the year from the previous quarter, lagging forecasts. On Wednesday evening, Petro said weak economic growth is due to restrictive interest rates that are curbing internal demand.

A majority on the independent bank’s board have repeatedly defied calls from Petro and Finance Minister Ricardo Bonilla for deeper interest rate cuts, since inflation remains more than double its 3% target.

The bank didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

Colombia has lowered borrowing costs by 1.5 percentage points starting in December, to 11.75%.

Read more: Colombia’s Interest Rates ‘Strangle’ Economic Growth, Petro Says

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