D.R. Congo Central Bank Plans to Slash Main Interest Rate to 7.5%

The Central Bank of the Democratic Republic of Congo has said it expects to lower its main interest rate from 8.5% to 7.5% in 2022 following a period of macroeconomic stability.

In a statement on Tuesday, the bank said the economy recovered strongly from the COVID-19 pandemic, growing by an estimated 5.7%.

“The outlook for 2022 is good for the economy with growth projected at 6.1%, annual inflation around 5.0% and the continuation of the relative stability of the national currency”, indicates the bank.

Last year, the bank cut the interest rate three times, from 18.5% to 8.5%.

Congo was praised by the head of the International Monetary Fund last month as a bright spot in Africa’s economic performance because of high commodity prices and government reforms that have improved public finances.

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IMF’s Kristalina Georgieva told a news conference in Kinshasa after meeting Congo President Felix Tshisekedi that Congo’s economy is forecast to grow 5.4% this year and 6.4% in 2022.

A major copper producer in Africa, Congo is also the world’s leading supplier of the battery metal cobalt. The price of both metals has gone up significantly in the past year.

Despite this, Congo remains one of the poorest and least developed nations in the world, held back by conflict, corruption and a legacy of poor governance.

According to the central bank, inflation is expected to be around 5% in 2022 and 5.1% in 2021.

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