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Relative stability of the Congolese Franc on the exchange markets

Kinshasa, March 16th , 2023 (CPA).-The Congolese franc has observed a relative stability on the exchange markets, the official exchange rate having been established at CDF 2,037.6 for one US dollar on March 10th,  2023, that is to say a slight weekly depreciation of 0.05%. On the parallel market, the currency depreciated slightly by 0.496; establishing the selling rate at CDF 2,317.5 after two weeks of appreciation.

In the major cities of the provinces, the average exchange rate stood at 2,224.14 CFA per US dollar, recording a weekly depreciation of 0.62%.

As at March 1st, 2023, the foreign currency budget showed a deficit of USD 734.34 million, resulting from revenue of USD 1.11 billion and expenditure of USD 1.84 billion.

Foreign exchange reserves stood at USD 4.27 billion as at 8 March 2023, representing an import cover of 2.31 months.

In terms of public finances as at March 10th, 2023, the state’s financial situation produced by the BCC showed a monthly deficit of CFAF 137.2 billion, due to revenue of CFAF 351.6 billion, of which CFAF 240.1 billion came from the financial authorities, and expenditure of CFAF 488.9 billion.

Concerning the monetary and credit sector, the monetary policy framework has remained unchanged since the last modification of the key rate on November 24th, 2022.

The relative stability of the Congolese franc, the BCC noted, is due to the good coordination of actions at the level of fiscal and monetary policies. It is also due to interventions on the foreign exchange market through the sale of USD 50 million, in particular, to facilitate imports of essential food products.

Slowing inflation

The economic briefing note further overcame that the growth outlook foresees an increase in economic activity of 8% in 2023, driven by the dynamism of the mining sector. Inflation is expected to slow to 9.796 in 2023 from 13.1% in 2022.

Inflation slowed for the third consecutive week to 0.396 in the first week of March 2023, bringing the year-to-date figure to 4.7%.

The Central Bank indicated that the depreciation of the Congolese Franc and the ensuing inflation is externally dependent on the slowdown of the world economy, the resumption of the increase in key rates by the major central banks and the tightening of financing conditions without forgetting the over-indebtedness of developing economies.

On the domestic front, the BCC cited the war in the east of the country and the high level of foreign exchange requirements of banks.

To boost growth and stop the overheating of the exchange rate in both segments, the BCC recommended the continued strengthening of good coordination of actions at the level of budgetary and monetary policies; close monitoring of bank liquidity factors by the Central Bank; the acceleration of the execution of public investment projects in infrastructure and the continued implementation of structural reforms retained in the framework of the FEC programme supported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). CPA/

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