Friday, March 29, 2019

Angola maintains rate as inflation seen continuing trend

     Angola's central bank left its benchmark BNA rate steady at 15.75 percent, along with its other key rates and the reserve ratio, saying it expects inflation to remain along the same trend as seen in recent months.
     In January the National Bank of Angola (BNA) cut its rate by 75 basis points due to falling inflation and a contraction in the monetary base, BNA's operational variable as part of Governor Jose Massano's thorough overhaul of the bank's operations since he took over in October 2017.
    The rate cut in January was BNA's second rate cut since July 2018, bringing the total easing in the current cycle to 225 basis points.
      In February Angola's inflation rate fell to 17.96 percent from 18.2 percent in January, continuing the steady decline since it hit 41.12 percent in December 2016.
     BNA said the monetary aggregate M2 rose 1.7 percent in the last 12 months while the stock of credit shrank by 0.11 percent in February following a 0.4 percent rise in January for a decline of 2.41 percent in the last 12 months.
     BNA added measures should be taken to boost credit to the primary sector, the output of goods.
     In January Angola's trade deficit amounted to US$224.96 but in February there was a surplus of $1.62 billion, helping narrow the trade deficit in the first two months of this year by 64.68 percent from the last two months of 2018.
     Angola's gross international reserves fell to $15.99 billion in February, an import cover of 8.77 months, down from $16.6 billion in December 2018.


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