SBP scuts interest rate to 11% over ‘considerable uncertainty’ amid coronavirus epidemic

KARACHI/ISLAMABAD: The State Bank of Pakistan on Wednesday announced yet another cut in the interest rate, this time slashing it by 1.5% to 11%, saying there was “considerable uncertainty” over the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

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In a press release, it said the move aimed “to facilitate businesses and exporters who seek loans frequently from commercial banks to run their businesses”.

“The global economy has been hit hard by the coronavirus, with the pandemic causing several businesses, including restaurants, hotels, airlines and manufacturing businesses to record losses in billions,” it added.

The central bank mentioned that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) took into account the “considerable uncertainty about how the Coronavirus outbreak would impact the global economy and Pakistan”.

“Substantial new information on global and domestic developments has become available since the last MPC meeting,” it said on Twitter. “The developments discussed during the meeting imply that the outlook for growth and inflation in Pakistan is likely to be revised down further.”

Earlier, the SBP had said it introduced various policy measures to protect the public given the looming potential economic impact amid the COVID19 outbreak.

It said it had created a dedicated page for the new measures.

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