Current account to record a surplus in 2009
*For the first time since 1977
*Inflationary pressures remain
Inflationary pressures continue to remain subdued as reflected by the
annual average inflation of around 4 percent recorded by end November
2009, although year-on-year inflation increased to 2.8 percent, a media
release from the Central Bank said. The outlook for inflation remains
Central Bank headquarters
The development of the Northern and the Eastern provinces in the
period ahead would result in their increased integration with the rest
of the country, leading to enhanced supply of goods and services in the
The positive supply side developments expected to take place in the
domestic economy are likely to have a favourable impact on inflation,
The higher reduction in expenditure on imports compared to the
decline in earnings from exports has resulted in the trade deficit
narrowing significantly during the first nine months of 2009.
The overall deficits in the trade and income accounts were offset by
higher inflows into the current transfers and services accounts,
resulting in a surplus of US Dollars 393 million in the current account
for the first nine months of 2009.
It is expected that this performance will continue through the fourth
quarter as well and the current account would record a surplus in 2009
for the first time since 1977.
Prospects for domestic economic activity have improved with the more
favourable investment climate that now prevails and the gradual recovery
of the world economy, supported by the relaxed monetary policy stance of
the Central Bank.
Hence, it is expected that credit flows will gradually pick up, with
the more favourable credit conditions that prevail on account of the
decline in market interest rates as well as the more stable conditions
in financial markets.
Although broad money supply is likely to further expand, particularly
in view of the expansion of foreign assets of the country and the likely
pick up in credit flows to the private sector in the ensuing period,
such an expansion has been accounted for in stipulating the monetary
targets for this year as well as the next year.
Considering these developments the Monetary Board at its meeting on
December 11, 2009 decided to maintain its policy interest rates at their
Accordingly, the Repurchase rate and the Reverse Repurchase rate
would remain at 7.50 percent and 9.75 percent.
The Road Map: Monetary and Financial Sector Policies for 2010 and
beyond, to be announced on January 4, 2010, will enunciate the monetary
policy strategy of the Bank for 2010, the release said.