Thursday, August 28, 2014

Angola maintains rates on stable inflation

    Angola's central bank maintained its benchmark BNA rate at 8.75 percent after inflation rose by 0.09 percent in July for an annual rate of 6.98 percent, up from 6.89 percent in June.
    The Bank of Angola (BNA), which raised its rate by 50 basis points last month, said credit to the economy in July was up by an annual 19.5 percent to 3.295 billion kwanza. The BNA raised its rate last month to stimulate growth in credit as inflation is expected to continue to trend downward.
    The BNA also said total sales of foreign currency in the first seven months amounted to $19.858 billion, an increase of 63.33 percent from the same period in 2013.
    The average exchange rate of the kwanza rose by 0.51 percent in July from June for a rate of 97.08 to the U.S. dollar, slightly firmer from the start of the year at 97.61.
    July's rate cut by the BNA was the first change in rates since November 2013 and the central bank also reduced the rate on its standing lending facility by 25 basis points to 9.75 percent.
    Last month the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast that Angola's inflation rate would rise to 7.5 percent by the end of the year due to the one-off effects on new tariffs on imports before continuing the downtrend through 2015 and beyond.

    The growth of Angola's economy is expected to ease to 3.9 percent this year as the expansion in agriculture slows from last year and due to a temporary drop in oil production in the first half.
    For 2015 growth is forecast by the IMF to accelerate to 5.9 percent as oil production recovers and non-oil economic activity remains robust.
    Angola's government has targeted economic growth this year of 5 to 7 percent after 4.10 percent growth last year, down from 5.2 percent in 2012.


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