Kenya central bank holds rates after inflation slowed


UPDATE 1-Kenya central bank holds rates after inflation slowed

NAIROBI, July 17 (Reuters) - Kenya's central bank held its
benchmark lending rate <KECBIR=ECI> at 10.0 percent after
inflation fell last month from a multi-year peak, the bank's
Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) said on Monday.
    The consensus expectation in a Reuters poll of analysts was
for a "hold" decision after inflation dropped from a five-year
peak of 11.7 percent in May, to 9.21 percent last month, as food
supplies improved due to rains following a months-long drought.
    "Overall inflation is expected to continue to decline over
the next few months, supported by lower food and fuel prices,"
the bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) said in a statement.
    It said the foreign exchange rate was "relatively" stable,
even as the current account deficit widened to 6.2 percent of
GDP in May from 6 percent in March, due to increased imports of
    "The current account deficit is expected to narrow in the
second half of 2017 in part due to resilient tea and
horticulture exports, stronger diaspora remittances, and
continued recovery in tourism," the MPC said.
    Private sector credit growth declined to 2.1 percent in the
year to the end of May, the committee said.

 (Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Catherine Evans)
 ((duncan.miriri@thomsonreuters.com; Tel: +254 20 4991239;
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This article appears in: Politics , Stocks , World Markets , Economy

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