Monetary Policy Committee cuts benchmark interest rate to 12.5%

Against investment banking analysts’ expectations, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Thursday cut the policy rate from 13.5% to 12.5%.

Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of CBN made this known while reading the communique on the outcome of the meeting in Abuja.

Though, he stated that the Committee held all other policy parameters. Emefiele said seven members voted for a reduction in benchmark rate by 100 basis points.

However, two members went for 150 basis points and a member voted for 200 basis points.

The CBN Governor explained that the committee retained Asymmetric Corridor of +200 -500 basis points around the MPR.

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He disclosed that MPC also retained Cash Reserves Ratio (CRR) at 27.5 per cent as well as Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent.

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The MPC noted that if all stimulus packages already announced by the CBN are well utilised, it will stimulate the needed economic recovery.

“After reviewing the three options, the MPC noted the imperative to monetary policy at the May 2020 meeting was to strike a balance between supporting the recovery of output growth while maintaining stable price development across inflation.

“Other considerations were the exchange rates and market interest rates. To this end, the committee noted that CRR was recently adjusted upward as a means of tightening the stand of policy.Monetary Policy Committee cuts benchmark interest rate to 12.5%

“In its response to COVID-19 pandemic however, the bank reduced interest rates associated with all CBN interventions from nine to five per cent.

“Increasing MPR at this stage will be counter intuitive and it will result in upward pressure on retail market rates,” he explained.

The governor said that the committee maintained that although a sharp decline in output growth was expected in second quarter of 2020.

He, however, noted that in the third quarter, if the current stimulus packages initiated by CBN were properly implemented, the economy would reverse to positive growth by the fourth quarter.

He added that there was optimism on the part of MPC that the country might not slide into recession.

Monetary Policy Committee cuts benchmark interest rate to 12.5%

 

 

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