Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

Cameroon: Cemac - Beac Revises Growth Rate Down to 5.6%

The bank's Monetary Policy Committee met in its third ordinary session in Malabo Wednesday, November 21.

Activities marking the 40th anniversary celebration of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) took off on Wednesday November 21 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea with a medley of events including the third ordinary session of the bank's Monetary Policy Committee.

After examining the recent evolution of the World economic situation as well as that of the Central African sub-region, committee members who met under the chairmanship of their President, Lucas Abaga Nchama, who doubles as BEAC Governor, revised the growth rate forecast for CEMAC down to 5.6 per cent. The 0.1 per cent drop in forecast from last July's forecast, is suspected to have been driven by the degrading situation of the World economy during the second quarter of 2012 especially in developed nations which are said to have registered a slowdown in their economic activity.

That notwithstanding, the economic perspective remains favourable for the whole of 2012 for the CEMAC sub-region the Governor of BEAC told reporters at a press conference at the Malabo National BEAC office. The reason for this optimism hinges on sustained internal demand and the steadfastness of all development sectors in the sub-region. "External monetary coverage rate remains comfortable at 100 per cent", Abaga Nchama said. However, he regretted the drop in budgetary excess and basic engagements among others from 2.4 per cent of GDP in 2011 to 1.4 per cent in 2012. According to the BEAC boss, external debt deficit in the sub-region climbed from 4.3 per cent in 2011 to 5.2 per cent in 2012. Inflation rate is projected to rise to 3.5 per cent at end of December this year compared to 2.7 per cent last year.

In the face of the present dispensation feared to have an influence on the monetary and financial stability of the sub-region, the committee decided to maintain the bank's present conditions applied to commercial banks, maintain the coefficient of obligatory reserves as well as the rate of remuneration. In the same vein, the interest rate for public investments will remain unchanged.

Anniversary activities continue today, November 22 with musical and sporting events.

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