Mozambique Central Bank Keeps Benchmark Rate Unchanged at 9.5%

Mozambique’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 9.5 percent for a sixth straight month.

The monetary policy committee maintained the rate “to help mitigate the impact of exogenous shocks that affected the performance of the country’s main macroeconomic indicators in recent months,” the Maputo-based Banco de Mocambique said in an e-mailed statement today.

Mozambique cut the rate by 550 basis points last year to stimulate the economy as inflation slowed. The annual inflation rate rose for a fourth month in April, climbing to 4.8 percent from 4.3 percent in the previous month, the statistics agency said on May 3.

Food prices climbed after floods hit the southern and central provinces of the country in January and February, curbing output. At least 69 people were killed and 112,000 were displaced, according to the National Distaster Management Institute.

The MPC left the deposit rate at 2.25 percent and maintained the level of reserves that commercial lenders must hold with the bank at 8 percent, according to the statement. The bank will make its next rate decision on June 10.

The southern African nation is site of the world’s largest discovery of natural gas in the past decade.

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