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Financial News: S. Africa CB Holds Key Rate Steady On

S. Africa CB Holds Key Rate Steady On Deteriorating View On Risks

09/21/2017 - 09:46:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - South Africa's central bank kept its key interest rate unchanged on Thursday, after a reduction in the previous session, citing a deteriorating assessment of the balance of risks.

The Monetary Policy Committee of the South African Reserve Bank held its key interest rate steady at 6.75 percent, after trimming it by 25 basis points in July.

The decision was taken after a split vote with three policymakers calling for a 25 basis point cut.

"Given the heightened uncertainties in the economy, the MPC felt it would be appropriate to maintain the current monetary policy stance at this stage, and reassess the data and the balance of risks at the next meeting," the SARB Governor Lesetja Kganyago said.

The bank said the risks to the growth outlook were slightly on the downside as it expects household consumption to remain constrained, going forward.

However, the growth forecast for this year was raised to 0.6 percent from 0.5 percent, while the projections for next year and 2019 were left unchanged at 1.2 percent and 1.5 percent.

Inflation was forecast to remain within the target range over the forecast period, closer to the mid-point than was the case early in the year.

Relatively stable core inflation suggest that significant demand pressures are absent, the bank said.

The SARB assessed the risks to the inflation outlook to be somewhat on the upside.

The rand remains the key upside risk to the inflation outlook, the bank added.

The inflation forecast for this year was unchanged at 5.3 percent, while the outlook for next year was raised by 0.1 percentage point to 5 percent. The projection for 2019 was lifted to 5.3 percent from 5.2 percent.

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