Bank of Uganda (BoU) on Tuesday reduced the Central Bank Rate (CBR) by 0.5 percentage points to 9.5% for the next three months. The move seeks to revamp the country’s economic and private sector credit growth rate.
The CBR is the rate of interest which a central bank charges on loans and advances to commercial banks.
Presenting the monetary policy statement for October, The BoU Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, said: “Given that the annual inflation forecast is to remain around the medium-term target of 5 per cent and economic activity is slowly gaining momentum, a cautious easing of monetary policy is warranted to boost private sector credit growth and to strengthen the economic growth momentum.”.
The Gross Domestic Product data released by Uganda Bureau of Statistics at the end of September indicates Uganda’s economic growth rate recovered in the second half of Financial Year 2016/17 with quarterly growth rate of only 0.6 per cent and 1.1 per cent being recorded in the first two quarters of the 2016/17 fiscal year, mainly because of bad weather that affected the agricultural sector.
Recent statistics show that the growth rates accelerated to 1.8 per cent and 1.9 per cent in the third and fourth quarters of the same financial year respectively. Mutebile revealed that the economy is projected grow from 3.9% (2016/2017) to 5-5.5% in FY2017/18.
In the medium term, the economic growth is being projected that it will accelerate to 6 or 6.5 per cent. Mr Mutebile said the outlook continues to be supported by accommodative monetary policy, improvement in public management and an improvement in the global economy.
On inflation outlook, Mutebile revealed forecast indicates that inflation outlook remains unchanged since the last Monetary Policy Committee meeting in August 2017, with the annual core inflation forecast remaining within the target range of 5 per cent over the short term.
He added: the upside risks to the inflation remains muted, with the exception of the possibility of higher food prices due to crop pests affecting the agricultural sector and severe rains in some parts of the country.