Repo rate left unchanged

The South African Reserve Bank has left the repo rate unchanged at 5.5%, governor Gill Marcus said on Thursday.

The prime rate would stay at 9%

On Wednesday, economists Chris Hart of Investment Solutions, Dawie Roodt of the Efficient Group and Azar Jammine of Econometrix all predicted SARB would leave interest rates unchanged for the foreseeable future should current economic conditions persist.

Addressing a South African Institute of Race Relations’ seminar on the medium-term future of the South African economy, Roodt said: “[SARB] has begun making a noise about interest rates but don’t expect them to make any decisions before 2013. I predict a 0.5% increase in the first quarter of next year at the earliest.”

This was the eighth consecutive meeting where the repo rate remained unchanged, after it was reduced by 650 basis points between mid-2008 and November 2010.

It keeps the rate at its lowest level in over 30 years.

The decision followed a three-day meeting of the bank’s monetary policy committee in Pretoria.—Sapa

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