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Dominican Republic central bank keeps interest rate at 5.50%

Banco Central de la República Dominicana on Aug. 31 kept its monetary policy interest rate at 5.50% per annum, as inflation remained on target and the local economy continued to expand above projections.

In a statement, the Dominican Republic central bank said cumulative inflation at end-July came to 1.41%. This brought interannual inflation in the 12 months through July at 4.43%, which was within the central bank's target range of 3.0% to 5.0%.

"The forecast system indicates that inflation, on average, would remain within the target range in the two-year monetary policy horizon," the central bank said.

The country's economy grew 6.7% in the first half of 2018, the central bank said, adding that it expects GDP to continue expanding above its potential for 2018 and close the year with annual growth falling between 6.0% and 6.5%. Private sector loans in the local currency also grew about 12% year over year in August, the central bank said.

The central bank cited the continued dynamism in the world economy, with expectations of growth in the U.S. and emerging economies India and China.