Angola Monetary Policy May 2019

Angola: Central Bank cuts the key policy rate to three-year low in May

At its meeting on 24 May, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the National Bank of Angola (BNA) cut its the key policy rate by 25 basis points to 15.50%, the lowest since May 2016. Meanwhile, the BNA left both the interest rate for the permanent liquidity-absorption facility at 0.0% and the coefficients of mandatory reserves in local currency at 17.0% and for foreign currency at 15.0%. The decision marked the second rate cut this year and the return to the monetary easing cycle which was paused when the Bank held the rate stable in March.

The Bank’s decision was driven chiefly by gradually receding inflationary pressures: Inflation in the province of Luanda edged down for a third consecutive month (April: 17.4%; March: 17.6%). Inflation moderated despite higher oil prices and a continued depreciation of the kwanza, signaling that the disinflation trend may be sustained in the coming months. The decline also came against the backdrop of a contracting monetary base, which fell 0.5% year-on-year in April.

Looking ahead, the Bank is seen further easing its policy stance this year, although still-high inflation and the Central Bank’s commitment to maintain prudent monetary policy, reinforced by the country’s financing deal with the IMF, could prevent significant rate cuts.

The next Monetary Policy Committee meeting is scheduled for 26 July.

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