Congo inflation seen 15% at year end

Democratic Republic of Congo’s inflation rate will fall to a target of 15 percent by the end of the year despite new figures that put it at more than twice that, its central bank has said.

The bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC) said annualised inflation was 38.7 percent in the second week of February, down from 69 percent last month.

“Since January the Treasury has already undertaken to spend according to the means it can mobilise,” Jean Louis Kayembe, director general of the central bank and the MPC, told reporters in an interview.

“We think that if this discipline is maintained, the level of inflation will continue to reduce. That objective of 15 percent can be reached.”

For the first time, the MPC will this year

release annualised inf

lation figures every two weeks.

The IMF last year made a loan of $550m to the country, whose fragile, largely informal economy is dependent on mineral exports, after a collapse in copper prices.

Foreign currency reserves stand at $900m, up from $32m the same time last year, largely as a result of that IMF money, Kayembe said.

Kayembe reiterated a 2010 economic growth forecast of 5.4 percent, up from 2.7 percent in 2009, as set by the government last year.

“We think we have very ambitious objectives and we think these will be attained,” he said.

Congo is still emerging from a 1998-2003 war and decades of corrupt dictatorship. A delegation from the World Bank will visit at the beginning of March.



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