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Financial News: Malaysia Hikes Key Rate For First Time Since

Malaysia Hikes Key Rate For First Time Since 2014

01/25/2018 - 02:37:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Malaysia's central bank lifted its key interest rate for the first time in more than three years as strong growth momentum is expected to continue this year.

The Monetary Policy Committee of Bank Negara Malaysia decided to raise the overnight policy rate by 25 basis points to 3.25 percent. The bank last raised its rate in 2014.

The floor and ceiling rates of the corridor for the OPR are correspondingly raised to 3.00 percent and 3.50 percent respectively.

"With the economy firmly on a steady growth path, the MPC decided to normalise the degree of monetary accommodation," the bank said in a statement.

At the current level of the OPR, the stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, the bank added.

The bank expects economic growth to remain strong in 2018. Domestic demand is forecast to be the key driver of growth, underpinned by favorable income and labor market conditions. The external sector is also expected to provide additional impetus to the economy.

Inflation is expected to average lower in 2018, on expectations of a smaller effect from global cost factors. A stronger ringgit exchange rate compared to 2017 will mitigate import costs, the bank said.

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