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19 Nov 2009 07:33
The recovery in the South African economy appears to be lagging behind that of the global economy, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) said in its November Monetary Policy Review on Wednesday.
Nevertheless, it added that there were convincing signs that the low point of the current growth cycle had been reached and that positive growth would resume by the fourth quarter of this year.
“The global recovery has already been reflected in an improved export performance in the past months.
“However, the domestic recovery is expected to be hesitant, driven by the inventory cycle and fixed investment projects,” the SARB said.
Consumption expenditure was expected to take a while longer to recover.
According to the SARB, the global inflation environment remained benign.
“The relatively wide output gaps and lower commodity prices have contributed to this outcome,” it said.
Domestic inflation had also responded to the weak demand conditions, and the inflation rate had reached a level marginally above the inflation target range.
“This has allowed for a significant 500-basis-point reduction in the repurchase rate since December 2008.
“By adopting a forward-looking flexible approach, the monetary policy committee was able to provide some stimulus to the slowing economy, while maintaining the focus on its price stability objective,” the SARB said.
Even though some risks to the inflation outlook remained, the current monetary policy stance was deemed “adequate to moderate inflation further to within the target range, while simultaneously allowing for the resumption of a positive growth trajectory,” the SARB added.—Sapa
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