August 29, 2018 / 1:03 PM / 8 months ago

Bank of Israel keeps benchmark interest rate at 0.1 pct

JERUSALEM, Aug 29 (Reuters) - The Bank of Israel on Wednesday held its benchmark interest rate at 0.1 percent for the 36th straight time since early 2015, as inflation continues to edge higher while economic growth has shown signs of slowing.

All 10 economists polled by Reuters had forecast no change by the central bank, which is expected to leave rates unchanged until at least later in 2018 before tightening policy.

Israel’s annual inflation rate gained to 1.4 percent in July from 1.3 percent in June, when it topped 1 percent for the first time since 2014, moving to within the government’s target of 1 to 3 percent.

At the same time, Israel’s economy grew an annualised 2.0 percent in the second quarter, according to a second estimate, slowing from a 4.8 percent pace in the prior three months. The central bank forecasts 3.7 percent growth this year. (Reporting by Steven Scheer, editing by Larry King)

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