(Ecofin Agency) - Last week, the Central Bank of DR Congo more than doubled its key interest rate from 7.5% to 18.5% to keep inflation in check and cushion the depreciation of the local currency (the Congolese franc) against the US dollar.
According to Deogratias Mutombo (pictured), the bank governor, the slide of the currency has led to a hike in prices, thus further lowering consumers’ purchase power. As a reminder, a few months ago, the rate was dropped to 7.5% from 9% to face the fallouts of Covid-19 on the economy.
“This was to support economic activity and allow refinancing. It was a measure that had been taken in several African countries. Now that there is excess liquidity and to contain monetary expansion, we have made this upward adjustment,” Governor Mutombo said at a press conference.
The central bank expects economic growth of 2.4% this year; a downward adjustment mainly due to the forecasted impact of the pandemic on the mining sector. According to the latest AU assessment, the disease has already affected 9,676 people in DRC, including 239 deaths and 8,705 recoveries.
Moutiou Adjibi Nourou