Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bank of Ghana Keeps Lending Rate at 12.50%

Central Bank News - Ghana Monetary Policy Rate
The Bank of Ghana kept its key lending rate steady at 12.50%.  Bank of Ghana Governor, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, said: "Looking ahead, wage pressures, payment arrears and recent depreciation of the exchange rate have increased the upside risks to inflation. In the short-term, the impact of these underlying inflationary pressures on the economy remains contained. The Bank's inflation forecasts  show that the end year target will be achieved.  Movements in the exchange rate remain consistent with the delivery of the Bank's inflation target."

The Bank of Ghana previously also held the rate unchanged after reducing its lending rate by 50 basis points to 12.50% at its July meeting, after also cutting 50 basis points at its May meeting this year.  Ghana reported annual inflation of 8.4% in September, August, and July, compared to 8.6% in June, 8.9% in May, 9.0% in April, and 9.1% in March.  The Bank noted that inflation remained relatively stable, and anticipates moderate inflation pressures in Q4.

Ghana's economy grew 23% in the March quarter, compared to 9.5% in the previous three months, as Africa's newest oil exporter saw export earnings boosted by oil sales, as well as a high gold price and cocoa volumes.  Ghana's currency, the cedi (GHS) has weakened by about 10% against the US dollar so far this year, with the USDGHS exchange rate last trading around 1.62.


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