The decision was made by CBS’s board of directors on Monday and the governor of the Central Bank. (Central Bank of Seychelles)

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(Seychelles News Agency) – The Central Bank of Seychelles has decided to maintain its monetary policy rate at 2% for the first quarter of 2022 while the global economy remains uncertain with the emergence of the new COVID-19[female[feminine Omicron varianta senior official said on Tuesday.

CBS said that although visitor arrivals and income remain below pre-pandemic levels, the performance of the tourism industry has gradually improved with the continued easing of restrictions in source markets and increased connectivity. to various destinations.

However, the emergence of new variants and the increase COVID-19[female[feminine these cases pose a threat to the ongoing recovery of the global economy and could lead to tighter travel restrictions.

The decision was taken by the CBS board on Monday and Central Bank Governor Caroline Abel said the board “must take global situations into account when making its decisions. Uncertainty remains. due to the new COVID-19[female[feminine variant affecting many countries, even if things change, the Council can also take another decision. “

At the end of June, the Central Bank lowered its key rates for the third quarter of 2021 to 2%, a percentage point lower than in previous quarters. This realignment was deemed necessary to reduce the cost of credit and thus revive economic activity.

One of the main issues that could be of concern to Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, regarding the new Omicron variant is that it can affect the main tourist markets in Europe.

For now, Seychelles’ recovery remains promising, with tourist arrivals still increasing to a level close to the days before the pandemic. In the third quarter of this year, foreign exchange revenue totaled $ 121 million, compared to just $ 34 million in the same period in 2020.

Meanwhile, Abel said inflationary pressures remain high despite a downward trajectory.

At present, the inflation rate is 9.37 percent, from a high of 10.63 percent.

Able explained that the high inflation rate is due to a number of factors, including those over which Seychelles has no control, such as global food prices, the price of oil, as well as the high cost of fuel. shipping at the moment.

Abel also spoke about the lower loan interest rates CBS asked the bank to implement earlier this year.

“As you will recall, we had asked the local banks to lower their interest rates and they were all successful in doing so, but at the moment we are also in discussions with the bank, where we expect them to be. ‘There will be another rate cut in early 2022, although we must remain aware of global issues, which can make a difference, ”Abel added.

With the holiday season, Abel continues to call on people to spend wisely and to stay aware that things can change at any time due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic.