The Angolan central bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC) recently hiked the country’s benchmark interest rate from 15.5% to a record of 20%. The largely unexpected hike, which is one of the National Bank of Angola (NBA)’s attempts to curb inflation, marks the first time the benchmark rate has been increased since November 2017.
Rising Inflation a Threat to Angola’s Growth
According to a Bloomberg report, the MPC was compelled to bring forward the meeting that ultimately sanctioned the rate hike due to an “evolution of the main indicators.” These indicators, according to the NBA governor, Jose de Lima Massano posed a threat to Angola’s growth trajectory. He explained:
The spread between inflation and the interest rate has been growing wider since the beginning of the year. Current data indicates additional inflationary pressures, which may put at risk the central bank’s inflation target of 19.5% for the end of the year.
As the data from Angola’s Instituto Nacional de Estatistica shows, the country’s year-on-year inflation has been on an upward trajectory since December 2019. For instance, in December 2019, the inflation rate stood at