Interest rate remains unchanged
The Reserve Bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC) has kept interest rates unchanged, in line with expectations.
The Bank's repo rate stays at 6.75%. All 17 economists polled by Bloomberg expected the repo rate to remain unchanged as the Bank’s MPC contended with a weak economy and lower inflation.
This will come as a relief to cash-strapped consumers who face further fuel-price increases and slightly higher debt service costs, which have dented confidence.
"Since the previous meeting of the MPC, global growth concerns have increased, with particular weakness visible in some of our trading partners. Domestically, electricity constraints, combined with weakness in business and consumer confidence, weigh on the forecast," governor Lesetja Kganyago said.
"While inflation continues to show near-term downside surprises, the medium-term outlook is impacted by higher energy tariffs and rising food and fuel prices."
Inflation is expected to moderate this year but the Bank has made it clear it would prefer inflation anchored at the midpoint of the 3%-6% target range. In February, inflation was below the midpoint of the range at 4.1%.