Morocco central bank holds benchmark interest rate at 2.25%

Economic growth will slow to 2.8% in 2019

  
A currency dealer counts Moroccan dirhams in a photo illustration at a currency exchange in Casablanca, Morocco, June 29, 2017. Image used for illustrative purposes

A currency dealer counts Moroccan dirhams in a photo illustration at a currency exchange in Casablanca, Morocco, June 29, 2017. Image used for illustrative purposes

REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal/Illustration

RABAT- Morocco’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 2.25 percent on Tuesday, saying current borrowing costs were consistent with medium-term inflation and growth outlook.

Inflation, mainly affected by food prices, is expected to ease to 0.6% in 2019 from 1.9% last year, before picking up to 1.2 % in 2020 on the back of improved domestic demand, the bank said in a statement following its quarterly board meeting.

Economic growth will slow to 2.8% in 2019 from 3% in 2018, it said, amid a drop in agricultural activity. Morocco expects to produce 6.1 million tonnes of cereals this year, down 40.7 percent from last year due to a lack of rainfall.

(Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi Editing by Gareth Jones) ((ahmed.eljechtimi@thomsonreuters.com;))

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