Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bank of Botswana Holds Bank Rate at 9.50%

The Bank of Botswana's Monetary Policy Committee held the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 9.50%.  The Bank said: "While short-term price developments have resulted in inflation remaining above the objective range of 3 - 6 percent, the medium-term outlook for consumer prices is more encouraging. As a result, the Committee judged that maintaining the Bank Rate at the current level is consistent with inflation converging on the objective range in the medium term."

Previously the Bank also kept the bank rate unchanged at 9.50% during its August meeting, while the Bank last dropped the rate 50 basis points to 9.50% in December last year.  Botswana recorded annual price inflation of 8.6% in September, 7.8% in July, 7.9% in June, 8.3% in May, and 8.2% in April, and above the central bank's target range of 3-6%, according to the central bank.

The Bank said domestic output grew an estimated annual rate of 12.4% in the second quarter, driven largely by the 23.7% growth reported in the mining sector; with the non-mining sector growing just 7.4%.  Botswana's currency, the Botswana Pula (BWP), has weakened by about 12% against the US dollar so far this year, while the USDBWP exchange rate last traded around 7.30


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