Rwanda central bank cuts rates to spur lending

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Rwanda’s central bank this Wednesday unexpectedly cut its benchmark interest rate to 6.25 percent, moving to try to spur credit growth in the East African nation.

The Monetary Policy Committee reduced the key repo rate to 6.25 percent from 6.5 percent, after leaving it unchanged since June 2014.

Central bank aims to counter ‘persistent slowdown in private sector credit growth’

“The lowering of the key repo rate is to signal the banks to increase lending to the private sector and support growth,” Governor John Rwangombwa told reporters in a press briefing.

The central bank forecasts the inflation rate at about 6 percent by the end of 2016 after it slowed to 6.4 percent in November from 7.4 percent in the previous month. Economic growth may also decelerate to 6 percent this year, from 6.9 percent in 2015, Rwangombwa said.

The franc has weakened about 9 percent against the dollar this year as Rwanda’s earnings from mineral exports shrank.

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