* W.Africa cenbank cuts key rate to 3 pct
* Revises 2012 growth forecast downward
* Says West Africa region facing uncertainties
(Adds details, quotes)
By Bate Felix
DAKAR, June 11 The Central Bank of West African
states on Monday cut its key lending rate by 25 basis points to
3 percent on adverse international environment weighing on the
region's growth, the bank said in a statement.
Kone Tiemoko Meyliet, governor of the eight-nation central
bank BCEAO, said the bank's monetary policy committee (MPC)
decided to cut it's marginal rate effective from June 16,
following an assessment of risks facing the region.
"The Committee reviewed the economic, monetary and financial
situation of the West African Monetary Union (WAMU) in the light
of recent evolution the international situation, in particular,
the risk factors that may weigh on price stability and the
prospects for economic growth in the union," Meyliet said.
The bank said that though 2012 growth would be better than
the previous year on the back of economic recovery in
post-conflict Ivory Coast and investments in mining and
infrastructure projects in the region, the crisis in Mali and
Guinea Bissau and uncertainty in the international environment
were causes of concern.
"Given these uncertainties, the latest estimates put real
GDP growth rate of the union at 5.3 percent in 2012, compared
with an initial forecast of 6.4 percent in November 2011," the
bank said in the statement after the MPC meeting in Dakar.
It said there were signs inflationary pressures were easing
with consumer prices falling to 0.6 percent in April from 2.3
percent year-on-year in January, 2.8 percent in February and 2.5
percent in late March.
BCEAO is the central bank for former French colonies Benin,
Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal
and Togo. They all use the CFA franc common currency currently
tied to the euro at a fixed exchange rate of one euro to 655.957
CFA francs, with the peg guaranteed by the French treasury.
For a full statement from the Central Bank in French please
(Reporting by Bate Felix; editing by Ron Askew)