Zambia Keeps Policy Rate Unchanged to Curb Inflation

Zambia’s central bank left its benchmark interest rate at a record high to curb price pressures in Africa’s biggest copper producer.

The policy rate was held at 9.75 percent, the Lusaka-based Bank of Zambia said in an e-mailed statement today.

“The committee has weighed the inflationary risks and has resolved that monetary policy should continue to be relatively tight during the policy-relevant period in order to moderate inflationary pressures,” the central bank said.

The Bank of Zambia raised the benchmark interest rate twice this year to cool consumer price growth that accelerated in June to 7.3 percent, the highest in six months. The central bank is targeting year-end inflation of 6 percent.

Inflation slowed to 7.1 percent in August, the Central Statistical Office said yesterday. Consumer price growth may quicken to 7.4 percent in September, Michael Gondwe, governor at the Bank of Zambia said on Aug. 15.