Africa’s Central Banks Reaction Amid Inflation and Growth Concerns

LAGOS (Capital Markets in Africa) – Angola’s central bank left its benchmark BNA rate at 16.0% on 30th January 2017. The National Bank of Angola (BNA), which raised its rate 500 basis points last year – most recently in June – to curb inflation, added its monetary policy committee had also taken note of the trend of declining monetary indicators. 

Botswana’s central bank left its benchmark lending rate unchanged at 5.5% on 28th February 2017, saying the inflation forecast will remain low and stable in the medium term. Subdued domestic demand and modest external factors point to benign inflation,” the bank stated.

 BCEAO central bank holds interest rate at 2.5%. The central bank of the eight-nation West African CFA franc zone held its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 2.50% on 1st March 2017. The bank, known as the BCEAO, has kept the rate unchanged since September 2013.

 Egypt’s central bank left its key interest rates unchanged on 18th February 2017,  at a meeting of its Monetary Policy Committee, the third consecutive meeting where it kept rates on hold. The bank kept its overnight deposit rate at 14.75% and its overnight lending rate at 15.75%.

Ghana’s central bank held its main policy rate unchanged on Monday at 25.5% on 23rd January 2017. The Bank of Ghana trimmed the rate in November by 50 basis points in the first such cut since July 2011, which may herald further reductions this year as inflation begins to fall at a faster pace after years above government targets.

Kenya’s central bank maintained interest rate at 10.0% to anchor inflation expectations on 30th January 2017. The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), which cut its rate by 150 basis points in 2016, noted inflation eased to 6.4% in December from 6.7% in November, partly reflecting the waning effect of December 2015’s excise tax rise.

Namibia Central Bank Leaves Benchmark Rate Unchanged at 7%. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of Namibia kept the Repo rate unchanged at 7.00% on 17th February 2017. This rate remains appropriate to maintain the one-to-one link between the Namibia Dollar and the South African Rand while supporting economic growth in Namibia.

Nigerian Central Bank Leaves Key Lending Rate Unchanged at 14% on 24th January 2017. Nigeria left its policy rate unchanged for a third consecutive meeting to support growth in an economy at its weakest in more than two decades and in which inflation is accelerating.

Mauritius central bank keeps the Key Repo Rate unchanged at 4%. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of Mauritius unanimously decided to keep the Key Repo Rate unchanged at 4.00 per cent per annum on 20th February 2017. The Bank of Mauritius stated rising business confidence and public investment should support domestic output this year while an uptick in global commodity prices, especially energy, remain a key upside risk to inflation.

Mozambique holds benchmark rate at 23.25%, inflation easing, growth modest. Mozambique’s central bank left its benchmark standing facility rate at 23.25% on 13th February 2017. The Bank of Mozambique, which raised its rate 13.50%age points last year – including a sharp 600 basis point hike in October – said the decision to maintain its key rate was taken in light of domestic and international risks that could have a negative impact on inflation and the exchange rate if they were to materialize.

Tunisian central bank holds key interest rate unchanged at 4.25%. Tunisia’s central bank has kept its key interest rate unchanged at 4.25%, the bank said on 2nd March 2017. The bank last cut its main interest rate in October 2015, from 4.75%.

South Africa’s central bank kept its benchmark repo rate unchanged at 7% on 24th January, in line with expectations, saying the near-term outlook for inflation has deteriorated while the domestic growth outlook remained constrained.

Uganda slashes benchmark rate to 11.5% amid shrinking growth on 15th February 2017.  The Bank of Uganda lowered the central bank rate by 50 basis points from 12%, set in December, to 11.5%. The bank’s monetary policy committee said the cut was necessary to “keep the domestic economic growth momentum”.  The central bank also reduced the rediscount and the bank rate to 15.5% and 16.5% respectively.

Zambian central bank reduces benchmark interest rate to 14% amid slow inflation on 21st February 2017. Bank of Zambia decided to reduce the rate by 150 basis points to 14% from 15.5% due to the single annual inflation rate the country has recorded in recent months.


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