Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Central Bank of Kenya Ups Rate 400bps to 11.00%

The Central Bank of Kenya upped its benchmark lending rate by 400 basis points to 11.00% from 7.00% previously.  The central bank Governor, Njuguna Ndung'u, said: "The Committee decided to raise the CBR by 400 basis points to 11.0 percent. In addition, the MPC will be meeting every first week of the month until further notice," and said the CBK "will revise the CBR further if inflation and exchange rate volatility do not abate." also noting: "inflationary pressure has continued to increase and both the weakening of the shilling and its volatility poses additional threats."

At its previous meeting the CBK increased the interest rate by 75bps to 7.00%, after having previously increased, and subsequently decreased the discount window rate by 75 basis points to 6.25%.  The Kenyan central bank last increased the benchmark lending rate by 25 basis points in May this year.  

Kenya experienced annual headline inflation of 17.3% in September, up from 16.7% in August, up from 15.5% in July, and up sharply from 9.19% in March this year, according to inflation data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.  The Central Bank of Kenya has an inflation target of 5 percent.  

Kenya reported seasonally adjusted GDP growth of -4.6% in Q2, compared to +2% in Q1.  
A Kenyan Ministry of Finance official noted that Kenya is expected to record economic growth around 5-5.5% this year, and 6% next year.  

The Kenyan Shilling (KES) has weakened about 27% against the US dollar so far this year; the USDKES exchange rate last traded around 101.25.


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