Thursday, December 29, 2016

Angola holds rate, higher telecoms pushes up inflation

   Angola's central bank maintained its benchmark BNA rate at 16.00 percent but said its monetary policy committee was paying particular attention to an acceleration of inflation in November, which was due to the an increase in administered telecommunications prices.
   The National Bank of Angola (BNA), which has raised its rate by 500 basis points this year to curb inflation, added it encouraged economic agents to "redouble" their efforts in helping price stability.
   Angola's inflation rate rose by 2.13 percent in the month of November, up from October's 1.79 percent rise, with communications contributing with 0.57 percentage points.
   On an annual basis, November inflation rose to a new 2016 high of 41.15 percent from 40.04 percent in October.
    In the same period the Luibor overnight rate rose to 22.65 percent from 14.26 percent while 3-month and 12-month rates were at 16.04 percent and 18.15 percent, respectively, the central bank said in a statement issued today following a meeting of its policy committee on Dec. 22.
    The BNA added that credit issued to the economy declined by 0.94 percent in November while gross credit to the central government rose by 1.33 percent.
    The central bank also said the average exchange rate of the kwanza was an unchanged 165.90 to the U.S. dollar, with commercial banks acquiring US$1.304 billion, an increase of 3 percent.
    The central bank has devalued the kwanza several times in recent years and has been quoting the kwanza at around 165 per U.S. dollar since mid-April.
    In January this year the central bank let the kwanza ease to around 155 from around 135, the rate it had targeted since September 2015.
    On Dec. 9 BNA Governor Valter Filipe da Silva was quoted as saying the central bank had no need to devalue the kwanza at the moment but work to lessen the gap between the formal and informal exchange rates.
     Angola, Africa's second largest oil exporter, has been hit hard by the fall in crude oil prices, which has also led to a shortage of foreign exchange.


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