Kenya Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge addresses a news conference at the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya July 25, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

KENYA’S central bank held its benchmark lending rate at 7.0% on Monday, the seventh ‘hold’ decision in a row, saying that a package of measures unveiled since last year had protected the economy from substantial decline.

Policymakers cut rates sharply at the onset of the coronavirus crisis in March last year, which was accompanied by other initiatives such as letting banks change the terms of loans for distressed borrowers.

The interventions have also “supported the most vulnerable citizens”, the central bank’s monetary policy committee said in a statement.

The government has said it expects economic growth to rebound this year after it slid to an estimated 0.6% last year.

The central bank stuck to the “strong growth” forecast on Monday, without commenting on new partial lockdown measures announced last Friday after a surge in infections and deaths from coronavirus.

Private sector credit grew by 9.7% in the year to February, the bank said, reflecting recovery in demand as the economy emerged from lockdown measures.

  • Reuters
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