SOUTH AFRICAN CENTRAL BANK KEEPS KEY RATE UNCHANGED AT 7.0 PCT

The South African Reserve Bank has kept its benchmark repo rate unchanged at 7.0 per cent as its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) feel there is some room to pause in the tightening cycle.

This is the first time this year that the repo rate has remained the same since the beginning of the year. Previously the repo rate was raised twice.

Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago told a media briefing here Thursday that five members of the MPC preferred no change, while one member preferred a 25 basis point increase.

"The MPC will not hesitate to act appropriately should the inflation dynamics require a response, within a flexible inflation targeting framework," Kganyago said, adding that the MPC remained focused on its inflation mandate, but sensitive to the extent possible to the state of the economy.

"The increase in the repo rate at the previous MPC meeting contributed to the improvement in the longer-term inflation forecast, and that move should be seen in conjunction with previous actions in the cycle and the lagged effects of monetary policy," he said.

He said the committee remained concerned that inflation expectations remained at uncomfortably high levels.

"Although core inflation has remained relatively contained in recent months, with a lower peak now expected, it is forecast to accelerate and exceed the upper end of the inflation target range for four quarters in response to exchange rate and wage pressures," Kganyago said.

SOURCE: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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