The statement issued by the Committee said that the Standing Lending Facility (the interest rate paid by the commercial banks to the central bank for money borrowed on the Interbank Money Market) will remain at 8.25 per cent.
The Standing Deposit Facility (the rate paid by the central bank to the commercial banks on money they deposit with it) remains at 1.5 per cent, and the Compulsory Reserves Coefficient - the amount of money that the commercial banks must deposit with the
This means that the
The Committee also decided that the central bank will intervene in the inter-bank markets in order to ensure that the monetary base does not exceed 47.533 billion meticais (about
At the end of April, the monetary base had reached 46.796 billion meticais, somewhat higher than the target set by the central bank of 46.451 billion meticais. The rise over the month was 3.4 per cent, caused by an increase of 888 million meticais in notes and coins in circulation, and of 643 million in bank reserves.
The statement noted that, according to the consumer price index for the three major cities (
The monetary policy committee commented that the behavior of inflation in the first four months of the year "continues to reflect the impact of the floods that struck the country at the start of the year, affecting the production and circulation of agricultural produce, particularly fruit and vegetables, as well as of charcoal and firewood, together with a general increase in prices in the South African economy".
The slowdown in the inflation rate in April, the statement adds, "reflects the seasonal effect of the beginning of the cool season, favourable to the domestic production of fresh produce, and the greater stability of the metical against the US dollar and the South African rand, after some pressure on the exchange market at the beginning of the year".
On 30 April, the metical was quoted at 30.65 to the dollar on the
There were 2.92 meticais to the rand - a depreciation of 1.39 per cent compared to the figure at the end of March. However, taking the past year as a whole, the metical had appreciated by 12.57 per cent against the rand.
Provisional figures for the end of April show a slight increase (by
The statement noted that the average prices of grain on the world market had fallen in April. The price of rice had fallen by 25.9 per cent, of wheat by 12.6 per cent and of maize by 20.7 per cent.
The price of a key Mozambican export, coal, also fell - the price of coking coal dropped by 22.3 per cent and of thermal coal by 14.9 per cent.
The price of one of the country's key agricultural exports, cotton, rose by 1.8 per cent.
Despite the central bank's eight month freeze in interest rates, the commercial banks, far from following suit, have actually raised their interest rates. The latest figures, from March, show that the average interest rates charged by the commercial banks rose slightly, to 20.69 per cent for loans maturing in a year. The prime rate charged to favoured clients remained unchanged at 14.94 per cent.
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