(Adds interest rate and inflation)
DAKAR, March 1 (Reuters) - Economic growth in West Africa's CFA franc currency zone should rise to 7 percent this year from 6.8 percent in 2016, the central bank that sets monetary policy in the eight-nation zone said on Wednesday.
The BCEAO central bank gave the forecast following a policy meeting at which it held its benchmark interest rate at 2.5 percent, the rate in force since Sept. 2013.
It projected annual inflation averaging out at 1.7 percent over the next 24 months, in line with its price stability goal.
The CFA franc zone comprises Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.
Reporting by Diadie Ba; Writing by Nellie Peyton; editing by John Stonestreet