Indonesia's c.bank seen holding benchmark at 1st 2017 meeting

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JAKARTA (Jan 16): Indonesia's central bank is highly likely to stand pat on Thursday its first policy meeting of this year, a Reuters poll showed.

All 22 analysts surveyed said they expect Bank Indonesia (BI) to keep its benchmark rate at 4.75%, where it has been since a cut in October.

In the first 10 months of 2016, BI cut its benchmark six times, by a total of 150 basis points, to try to lift economic growth.

Perry Warjiyo, a BI deputy governor, earlier this month said BI still has room for easing, but hinted that the central bank may rely more on liquidity management tools due to concerns about global uncertainty.

Out of seven analysts who gave forecasts for the benchmark at the end of the first quarter, three saw BI making a 25-basis-point cut to 4.50% while the other four projected no rate-change.

In the third quarter, Indonesia had annual growth of 5.02%. BI's outlook for 2017 growth is for 5.0–5.4%.

Indonesia's annual inflation rate was 3.02% in December.