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'Sarb’s policies are aimed at improving growth'

Questions have been asked about whether the SA Reserve Bank will continue to hike rates.

Francois Groepe. Picture: resbank.co.za

JOHANNESBURG - SA Reserve Bank (Sarb) deputy governor Francois Groepe says in a speech posted on the bank's website that its policies are aimed at improving growth, which is predicted to be zero percent this year.

Questions have been asked about whether the bank will continue to hike rates.

The Reserve Bank decided not to hike rates at its last meeting, with questions now over whether the bank may even lower the repo rate later this year to promote growth.

The bank has hiked the repo rate by 200 basis points since January in a bid to bring inflation within its target range of 3 and 6 percent.

But Groepe has indicated that the bank is not only taking inflation into account, but also growth.

He says the repo rate still remains relatively low as the bank has had to accommodate this.

However, economists agree that the strengthening rand and lower fuel prices will contribute to lower inflation, which should then see the bank possibly ease monetary policy, which would be good news for cash-strapped consumers.

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