Mozambique raises lending rate to highest level in 3 years

Mozambique’s central bank raised on Monday its benchmark interest rate to the highest level since 2012 in a bid to curb soaring inflation in the African country, financial news agency Bloomberg reported.

The Bank of Mozambique said in a statement – cited by Bloomberg – the interest rate had been increased by 1.5 percentage points to 9.75 percent.

“The monetary policy committee thought it was important to continue with the steps that, along with other economic policies that have been outlined, will help consolidate gains in foreign exchange and help stop a possible quickening of inflation in 2016,” Ernesto Gove, the bank’s governor, told the media agency.

“These [steps] are essential to maintain macroeconomic and financial stability,” he added.

Inflation in Mozambique surged from 1.3 percent in May to 6.3 percent in November, while its currency has plunged 36 percent against the U.S. dollar so far this year, according to the report.