(Bloomberg) -- Angola’s central bank delivered its first back-to-back interest-rate hike in almost a decade after raising its year-end forecast for inflation.

The monetary policy committee increased the benchmark rate to 19.5% from 19%, Governor Manuel Tiago Dias said. That was less than the median estimate of six economists in a Bloomberg survey for a percentage point increase. 

“The decision was motivated by persistent inflationary pressures in the economy and aims to contribute to the control of liquidity in circulation,” the governor said.

Inflation quickened to 28.2% last month after a sharp drop in the local currency. The kwanza has lost about 37% of its value against the dollar over the past 12 months following a government decision last year to stop defending it. It was trading 0.1% weaker at 855.8700 against the dollar at 4:58 p.m. local time.

The central bank now projects inflation ending 2024 at 23.4%, from a previous forecast of 19%, Tiago Dias said. The governor attributed the revision in part due to increased diesel and transport costs as the government continues to scale back on fuel subsidies. 

Tighter monetary policy and government measures to increase the local production of goods are expected to help ease inflation in the second half of the year, Tiago Dias said. 

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The MPC is scheduled to meet again on July 18 and 19, he said.

--With assistance from Simbarashe Gumbo.

(Updates with more details throughout)

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