KAMPALA – The Bank of Uganda (BoU) has reduced the Central Bank Rate (CBR) by a further percentage point to 7 percent for the month of June in a bid to kick-start the economy that has been severely hit by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Central Bank had cut the CBR, which is a benchmark lending rate for commercial banks, to 8 percent in April 2020.
But BoU Governor, Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, while issuing the lending rate on Monday, 08 June 2020, said the further reduction to 7% is meant to maintain adequate liquidity in domestic markets to encourage lending by financial institutions to households and businesses.
“Also, BoU expects financial institutions to reduce further their lending rates commensurate with our monetary policy stance,” Mutebile said.
Mr Mutebile said consistent with the slowdown of economic activity, inflation has remained subdued.
The headline and core inflation declined to 2.8% and 3.2% respectively in May 2020, from corresponding levels of 3.2% and 3.4% in April 2020.
“The public transport measures to contain the pandemic will temporarily increase transport costs in months ahead but the overall risks to the inflation outlook appear to be to the downside,” Mutebile said.
He noted that the economic slowdown and a gradual recovery will keep inflation below the medium target of 5% in the near term (12 months ahead).
“Although the measures taken by the BoU are yet to take full effect in mitigating the adverse effect of the pandemic on the economy, it is necessary to ease financial conditions further since inflation outlook remains benign,” Mutebile said.