Central bank

Central Bank Monetary Report shows unemployment up, inflation contained

The Central Bank's Monetary Report is showing an increase in the unemployment rate but a containment of the rate of inflation.

The report was released today.

"Since the last Monetary Policy Announcement in September 2016, oil prices rallied to a 15-month high of near US$50 dollars per barrel (WTI) in October, but have declined since. 

Though oil prices generally remained low, they improved in the third quarter of 2016 and averaged US$44.9 compared to US$39.4 in the first half of the year.

Central Bank forecasts revival of economic growth next year

The Central Bank's Monetary Policy Report is forecasting a gradual revival in economic growth for this country in 2017.

The report says according to early available information on the domestic energy production and the revised budget in April of this year, the 2016 economic outlook remains the same which is a contraction in the order of 2.5 percent for the whole of 2016. 

But as energy prices pick up and production increases, the Central Bank is projecting slight growth next year. 

Central Bank warns about black market foreign exchange trade

The Central Bank is warning citizens that foreign exchange transactions on the black market are illegal.

In a release issued today the bank stated that persons conducting foreign exchange transactions outside of the 12 authorized dealers maybe liable to a fine or face the possibility of a jail term, from anywhere between two to five years.

Central Bank report confirms food prices up since VAT dropped

The Central Bank is saying that despite the VAT reduction to 12.5 percent, food prices have been increasing.

As a result food inflation for February 2016 was 9.4 percent, an increase from the 4.5 percent recorded back in February 2015.

Headline inflation for February increased to 3.4 percent compared to the 2.4 percent recorded in January.

In its latest monetary policy announcement, the Central Bank says the energy sector contracted by 5 percent in the last quarter of 2015 and for the start of 2016 sales for new cars and cement have taken a hit.