September 7, 2017 / 7:12 AM / a year ago

Malaysia's holds key rate as growth is solid

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Malaysia’s central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged on Thursday as expected, as it sees the economy remaining on a solid growth track while inflation moderates.

All 11 economists polled by Reuters had predicted no change to Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) overnight policy rate , which has been held at 3.00 percent since July 2016.

“At the current level of the OPR, the stance of monetary policy remains accommodative,” the central bank said in a statement.

BNM said economic growth will be driven by domestic demand, supported by improving incomes and overall labour market conditions, new and ongoing infrastructure projects and sustained investments in the manufacturing and services sectors.

In the first half, the economy expanded 5.7 percent from a year earlier.

Annual headline inflation eased to 3.2 percent in July, slowing for a fourth straight month after hitting an eight-year high of 5.1 percent in March.

In July 2016, the central bank cut the key rate by 25 basis points in the immediate aftermath of Britain’s Brexit vote. (Reporting by Joseph Sipalan; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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