ACCRA (Reuters) – Ghana’s central bank on Monday maintained its policy rate at 14.5%, citing a need for macro-economic stability despite the slowdown brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Ghana’s economy, which relies heavily on natural resources like cocoa, gold and oil, is expected to grow in 2020 at its slowest rate in nearly 40 years, leading the government last week to announce a $17.4 billion support programme. [nL5N2EU61X]

Bank of Ghana Governor Ernest Addison described mixed economic indicators during a monthly news conference. He noted a gradual rebound in credit growth and “reassuring results” from stress tests conducted on banks this month.

However, he said the budget deficit for the first half of 2020 stood at 6.3% compared with the 3% target and expressed concern about rising inflation.