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Financial News: SARB's Kahn Says Cannot Reduce Rates To Reverse

SARB's Kahn Says Cannot Reduce Rates To Reverse Policy Prematurely

06/08/2017 - 08:08:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - South Africa's central bank policymakers need to be more convinced that the improved inflation outlook can be sustained given the high levels of uncertainty and hence, they are not in favor of cutting rates for now, South African Reserve Bank rate-setter Brian Kahn said Thursday.

"The MPC would want to be more convinced that the improved inflation outlook could be sustained," Kahn said in a speech.

"We would not want reduce rates, only to be forced into a premature reversal of policy."

On May 25, the central bank left its key interest rate unchanged at 7 percent and revised down its growth forecasts. The previous change in the rate was a quarter-point hike in March last year.

The current stance of monetary policy is not tight and is not a major constraint to growth, the policymaker said. The bank assessed that it was likely at the end of the tightening cycle, Kahn said.

Citing the unexpected 0.7 percent GDP contraction in the first quarter that led the economy into its first recession since 2009, Kahn said the SARB is likely to revised the growth outlook lower again in the next forecast round.

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