kwacha mwnnLILONGWE (Mfuneko Toyana , Reuters) –Malawi’s central bank lifted its benchmark lending rate by 200 basis points to 27 percent on Wednesday, saying persistently high inflation, a depreciating exchange rate and uncertainties on food prices and wage demands posed risks.

The Reserve Bank of Malawi revised its 2015 economic growth estimate to 3.0 percent from an earlier forecast of 5.4 percent.

“The downward revision was necessitated mainly by a contraction in agriculture due to late on-set of rains, floods and early cessation of the rains,” the bank said in statement.