Botswana central bank holds main policy rate, sees inflation decline

People cross rail tracks in the Central Business District (CBD), in the capital Gaborone, Botswana, September 21, 2018. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

GABORONE, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Botswana's central bank kept its monetary policy rate (BWRATE=ECI) unchanged at 2.65% on Thursday, saying it saw inflation gradually falling back within its target range by 2024.

Botswana's consumer inflation (BWCPIY=ECI) dipped to 13.1% year on year in October from 13.8% in September, but is still far above the central bank's 3%-6% preferred band.

"The drop in inflation in the past months is due to the dissipating effects of previous increases in administered prices," Bank of Botswana Governor Moses Pelaelo told a news conference. "The domestic economy will continue to perform below capacity in the medium term and therefore not pose any inflationary pressures."

The bank currently forecasts inflation will fall back within the 3%-6% range in third quarter of 2024.

Reporting by Brian Benza Writing by Alexander Winning Editing by Bernadette Baum

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