Rwanda central bank trims key repo rate to 5.5% from 6% previously


The Rwandan central bank trimmed its key repo rate to 5.5 percent from 6 percent previously, the bank’s governor announced on Thursday.

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Governor John Rwangombwa said the government wanted to continue to drive economic growth.

“We decided to reduce the repo rate from 6 percent to 5.5 percent to continue supporting the financing of the economy and we are building on a strong or stable base, both on inflation and on depreciation,” Rwangombwa said.

He predicted year-on-year inflation would be below 3 percent at the end of 2017 and the franc would have depreciated by 3.07 percent against the dollar.

President Paul Kagame was re-elected in August with nearly 99 percent of the vote, extending his 17-year rule. Kagame has won plaudits for overseeing years of stability and economic growth, but critics said he had suppressed political opposition after one key challenger was disqualified from standing.

A slowdown in construction meant the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in November cut its forecast for Rwanda’s gross domestic product growth to 5.2 percent this year from 6.2 percent. But it projected a pick-up in 2018.

reporting by Clement Uwiringiyimana; writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Kevin Liffey