September 18, 2019 / 7:36 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 2-Jordan's central bank cuts benchmark interest rate to 4.25%

(Adds new rate in headline, first paragraph)

AMMAN, Sept 18 (Reuters) - The Central Bank of Jordan said on Wednesday that it was cutting its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 4.25% in a move to help spur economic growth. The move came shortly after the U.S. Federal Reserve cut its own key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point. The central bank said in a statement that it acted in “light of the developments in interest rates in international and regional markets”.

The move would also spur growth by encouraging banks to lend to businesses alongside boosting local spending, the bank said.

Businesses have been complaining about weak investor confidence with many sectors reeling in a recession and a drop in profitability.

The International Monetary Fund expects Jordan’s economy to grow around 2.2 percent in 2019 and with an average consumer price inflation rate of 2 percent. (Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi in Amman; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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