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Dakar — Copper production in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Africa’s top producer of the metal, rose 9.3% in the first nine months of 2017, but soaring inflation remained a risk to the economy, the central bank warned on Monday. Rising mining production should help ease some of the economic problems in the DRC, where inflation is expected to hit 48% in 2017 and the Congolese franc has fallen 22% against the dollar, largely due to lingering effects from two years of low commodity prices. Copper production in the first nine months stood at 831,000 tonnes, the central bank said in a monthly report, while cobalt production increased 18% to 59,000 tonnes and gold production rose 5.7% to 23,000kg. But the bank warned that any let-up by authorities on tight monetary policy and austerity measures, which have reduced fiscal deficits in recent months, could cause inflation and currency depreciation to spiral again. It said the annual inflation rate could rise to as high as 76% by the...

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