Ghana central bank keeps policy rate unchanged at 20%

PUBLISHED: Mon, 22 Jan 2018 16:21:28 GMT

Ghana’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate at 20 percent on Monday, citing the need to keep inflation within its medium-term target of 8 percent plus or minus two percentage points, governor Ernest Addison told a news conference in the capital Accra.

Photo: Shutterstock.

The major commodity exporter is in its final year of a $918 million credit deal with the International Monetary Fund to narrow deficit, debt and inflation. The Central bank has eased rates by 550 basis points in the past year to foster growth.

Addison said the central bank does not recognize bitcoin as a tradeable medium of exchange. “It is not legal tender and it is not regulated”.

But the bank will not clamp down on users, he said, adding that the bank would soon announce a policy on digital currencies.

Ghana earned $5.78 billion from gold exports last year, up from $4.91 billion in 2016 while cocoa revenue totalled $2.71 billion compared to $2.57 billion in 2016. Oil receipts amounted to $3 billion from $1.34 billion.

Net international reserves stood at $4.52 billion, or 2.5 months of imports cover, compared to two months cover of $3.4 billion at the end of 2016. Total public debt stood at $31.4 billion, representing 68.7 percent of GDP as of November 2017 , compared to 73.3 percent at the end of 2016.

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