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Rwanda’s Credit Demand May Ease This Year, Central Bank Says

Rwanda’s credit demand will probably ease this year as the central bank raised interest rates to curb inflation, Governor Claver Gatete said.

Growth in loans by commercial lenders will probably slow to 16.6 percent from 28.4 percent in 2011, Gatete told reporters in the capital, Kigali, today.

The Bank of Rwanda raised its benchmark interest rate by 1 percentage point to 7 percent last year to contain inflation, which accelerated to 8.3 percent in December from 7.4 percent in the previous month. The inflation rate will probably drop to 7.5 percent by the end of this year, Gatete said.

Rwanda’s government helped to keep inflation under 10 percent by cutting fuel taxes last year, Gatete said. Fuel accounts for about 40 percent of the increase in consumer prices, he said.

Finance Minister John Rwangombwa on June 8 lowered fuel taxes by 100 Rwandan francs ($0.16) a liter.

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