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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya central bank retains benchmark rate at 10 pct       

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s central bank on Monday retained its benchmark rate at 10 percent due to increased optimism for growth prospects in the economy.

Patrick Njoroge, who heads the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and  the country’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), said there is some room for accommodative monetary policy in the near term, as well as the risk of perverse outcomes.

“The committee concluded that there was need to further monitor and assess the impact of its policy actions. The MPC therefore decided to retain the Central Bank Rate (CBR) at 10 percent,” Njoroge said in a statement released in Nairobi.

Njoroge said an MPC meeting was held against a backdrop of sustained macroeconomic stability, increased optimism on the economic growth prospects, an improving business environment, and continued strengthening of the global economy.

He said an MPC Private Sector Market Perception Survey conducted in January showed an upsurge in optimism by the private sector for the economic prospects in 2018.

Njoroge said month-on-month overall inflation fell to 4.5 percent in December, down from 4.7 percent in November 2017, remaining within the government target range.

“This decline was due to lower food prices, reflecting improved supply of key food items, particularly cabbages, Irish potatoes, tomatoes, sugar, and maize flour,” he said.

“The decrease in food prices outweighed the increase in fuel and electricity prices and the rise in transport costs during the festive period,” he added.

           

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