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Mongolia leaves benchmark interest rate unchanged at 11 pct t

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ULAN BATOR, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia's central bank has decided to leave the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 11 percent, local media reported Saturday.

"The decision aims to bolster the economic growth and cope with the inflation target framework in the medium term," said Bayarsaikhan Bayardavaa, head of the bank's monetary policy council.

The central bank has set a goal to stabilize inflation around the target rate of 8 percent in the medium term, Bayardavaa said, adding that annual inflation was at around 6.9 percent in February.

In addition, Mongolia's central bank has maintained its forecast for economic growth to be at least 6.9 percent this year.

Foreign direct investment in the resource-rich country, an increase in coal exports, and activity in non-mining sectors will be the main drivers of the country's economic growth this year, according to experts of the central bank.

The landlocked Asian country's gross domestic product in 2018 expanded 6.9 percent year on year to reach 18.1 trillion Mongolian tugriks (6.8 billion U.S. dollars).

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