Reserve Bank likely to keep interest rates steady for consumers' benefit | IOL Business Report

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Low inflation is set to benefit consumers this festive season as the South African Reserve Bank looks set to leave interest rates unchanged at its final meeting for the year. busrep

JOHANNESBURG – Low inflation is set to benefit consumers this festive season as the South African Reserve Bank looks set to leave interest rates unchanged at its final meeting for the year tomorrow.

Inflation was 4.1 percent year-on-year in September, from 4.3 percent in August, dipping below the 4.5 percent midpoint of the Sarb’s target range of 3 to 6 percent. Economists say the Sarb’s Monetary Policy Committee is likely to cut the repurchase rate , or at least leave it unchanged, as inflation has consistently surprised on the downside this year. Sarb cut the repo rate by 25 basis points in July, from 6.75 percent to 6.5 percent, and decided to keep it unchanged in September.

But that has not spurred economic growth, as retail sales continue to depict a muted demand environment, moderating to 1.1 percent in August and falling below the market consensus of 1.7 percent.

 

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