Rwanda's exchange rate, inflationary pressure to remain moderate in 2019: central bank

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-07 21:52:33|Editor: xuxin
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KIGALI, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Rwanda's exchange rate, inflationary pressures are projected to remain moderate in 2019, the National Bank of Rwanda said on Thursday.

The year 2018 ended with positive macro-economic conditions which are expected to continue through 2019 with moderate inflationary and exchange rate pressures, the central bank governor John Rwangombwa said in Rwandan capital city Kigali when briefing journalists on a meeting of the bank's Monetary Policy Committee.

Annual headline inflation decreased to 1.4 percent in 2018 from 4.9 percent in 2017 because of lower inflationary pressures from food prices, said Rwangombwa, adding that inflation is projected to pick up in 2019 but will remain around the 5 percent benchmark.

The governor also said exchange rate pressures continued to be moderate, with a depreciation of Rwandan francs against U.S. dollars standing at 4 percent in 2018.

In 2019, the foreign exchange market is expected to remain stable and the foreign exchange reserves are adequate to provide a buffer against short-term shocks, he added.

He also said Rwanda's trade deficit increased in 2018 by 12.4 percent resulting from the rise of import bill by 9.5 percent due to ongoing infrastructure projects.