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Financial News: Sri Lanka Central Bank Holds Benchmark Rates

Sri Lanka Central Bank Holds Benchmark Rates

01/23/2024 - 07:28:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The Central Bank of Sri Lanka kept its benchmark interest rates unchanged on Tuesday as inflation is likely to move upward due to the increase in value added tax.

The Monetary Policy Board of the central bank decided to maintain the Standing Deposit Facility Rate at 9.00 percent and the Standing Lending Facility Rate at 10.00 percent.

The bank had reduced the rates by a cumulative 650 basis points last year.

"The Board arrived at this decision following a comprehensive assessment of domestic and international macroeconomic developments in order to maintain inflation at the targeted level of 5 per cent over the medium term, while enabling the economy to reach its potential," the bank said in a statement.

In the near term, inflation is forecast to record an upward movement driven by the increase in the VAT, disruptions to the domestic food supply and the dissipation of the favorable base effect. Nonetheless, this acceleration is projected to be short-lived.

Over the medium term, headline inflation is expected to gradually stabilize around the targeted level of 5 percent.

With inflation set to remain low and growth likely to struggle, the central bank is likely to resume its rate-cutting cycle soon, Capital Economics' economist Ankita Amajuri said.

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