Dakar, Sep 5: The eight member states of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) are likely to fall short of the projected 7.3 percent growth in 2014, according to an official statement released Thursday in the Senegalese capital Dakar.
The statement from the sub-regional body’s monetary policy committee (MPC) said risks could drag down the regional growth amid the backdrop of the slowdown in the emerging countries and the low international prices for some products exported by the union.
The MPC decided to lower the basis points of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) to 25 points.
“The lowering of the basis points will enable the banks to lower their lending rates and hence improve funding of economic activities,” the statement said.
UEMOA, whose currency is the CFA Franc, comprises Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.
The statement expressed optimism that inflation in the bloc tends to be down.
“The inflation rate that has been dropping each year stood at 1.7 percent by the end of June 2013 against 2.8 percent in December 2012,” it said.
The MPC attributed the downward inflation to the drop in the prices of local cereals as well as the reduction of oil prices in some of the member states due to the easing of international oil prices.