Kenya central bank holds main lending rate at 9.0 pct

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NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s central bank held its benchmark lending rate at 9.0 percent on Monday, the bank’s monetary policy committee said, saying inflation was anchored within the target range.

Policymakers said the decision, the third hold in a row since September, was also supported by their view that the economy was “operating close to its potential”, they said.

Year-on-year inflation was 5.7 percent last month, well within the government’s preferred band of 2.5-7.5 percent. Economic growth accelerated to 6 percent in the third quarter of last year, up from 4.7 percent a year earlier.

The committee, however, warned of the potential for higher volatility in the global financial markets this year, mainly due to slowing global economic growth, Brexit and a trade war between the U.S. and China.

Reporting by Duncan Miriri, editing by Ed Osmond

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