Benchmark rates in major sub-Saharan African economies to remain unchanged in November: Reuters poll

The benchmark interest rates for Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya are likely to remain unchanged at 13.50%, 11.50% and 7.00% respectively in the coming days. All three central banks have been on an easing cycle for about five years.

“With a totally different growth trajectory in much of border sub-Saharan Africa, there will be less pressure on central banks to tighten, for now,” said Razia Khan, head of the research for African and Middle Eastern economies at Standard Chartered.

A recent survey suggested that growth in major African economies Sub-Saharan Africa would be mixed in 2022, after a year of recovery from COVID-19 lockdowns, as life slowly returns to normal amid low vaccination rates.

Virág Fórizs, emerging markets economist at Capital Economics, said policymakers will continue to focus on supporting recoveries by keeping rates unchanged this month and beyond.

“In Ghana, the central bank cut rates earlier this year to boost the economy and policymakers are unlikely to back down at this point. Meanwhile, in Nigeria, the case for tighter monetary policy has weakened as inflation has declined in recent months, especially as the rebound in economic activity appears to be fading ” , she added.

The International Monetary Fund last month confirmed its forecast for sub-Saharan Africa growth of 3.7% for this year and 3.8% for 2022.

Last month, the World Health Organization -2021-10-28 said vaccination rates have not improved much on the continent, only five African countries are expected to meet the goal of fully immunizing 40% of their population against COVID-19 by the end of the year.

Nigeria is launching a mass vaccination campaign, aiming to immunize half of its target population by the end of January. Africa’s most populous country aims to vaccinate 111 million people to achieve herd immunity. central de l The South African bank raised its main policy rate by 25 basis points to 3.75% in a tight appeal on Thursday, the first rate hike in three years in response to mounting inflation risks.

The Central Bank of Kenya is expected to hold its rates as inflation is likely to fall to the target midpoint in the coming months without political intervention. Its meeting is scheduled for the end of November.

(Reporting by Vuyani Ndaba; Editing by Jonathan Cable and Hugh Lawson)

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