Kazakhstan Keeps Refinancing Rate Unchanged at Record Low 5.5%

Apr 2. Bloomberg

By Nariman Gizitdinov

Kazakhstan Keeps Refinancing Rate Unchanged at Record Low 5.5%Kazakhstan’s central bank held its refinancing rate at a record low after inflation unexpectedly decelerated last month.

The National Bank of Kazakhstan kept the benchmark rate at 5.5 percent, the regulator in Almaty said in a statement published on its website and dated yesterday. The biggest energy producer in central Asia last decreased borrowing costs by a half point on Aug. 6.

The decision was made “on account of a continuation in the moderate pace of inflation and current conditions in the functioning of the financial market,” the central bank said in the statement.

Kazakhstan, which reduced its main rate four times last year, is targeting economic growth of 6 percent this year after gross domestic product expanded 5 percent in 2012. Policy makers want to restrain inflation within the range of 6 percent to 8 percent, with the authorities moving to curb price growth by capping fuel costs and banning exports of gasoline and diesel.

Inflation in March decelerated to 6.8 percent from a year earlier, with consumer prices rising 0.2 percent in the month. The central bank shaved 2 percentage points off its key interest rate last year.