Kenya’s central bank is likely to raise benchmark lending rates to 9.5 percent by year-end, Business Daily reported, citing a Standard Chartered report.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will slow the pace of rate hikes as inflation comes under control. However, the rate will close at about 9.5 percent from the current 8.75 percent, Standard Chartered analysts said in a report.

Eva Wanjiku Otieno, the principal Africa strategist at Standard Chartered, said the central bank will likely keep the hikes at about 0.25 percentage points per review.

“We expect more hikes to come through in 2023, about 75 basis points in total, but 25 basis points at a time,” she added.

The bank rate of 9.5 percent was last seen in May 2018.

The CBK monetary policy committee is expected to meet next week as inflation remained above the targeted range for seven consecutive months.

Inflation rose for eight consecutive months to 9.6 percent in October 2022 before falling to 9.5 percent and 9.1 percent in November and December 2022, respectively.

(Editing by Cleofe Maceda;