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S&P: Political tensions could derail SA's policy efforts

Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago said on Tuesday the bank was keeping rates unchanged.

Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - There is cautious optimism in a few quarters that the country's economic growth will increase this year after dropping below expectations in 2016.

Ratings agency S&P global says it sees the country's growth quickening to 1.4% this year while the Reserve Bank is slightly more conservative.

Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago said on Tuesday that the bank was keeping rates unchanged due to a number of factors including a strong rand and expected improved growth.

He says the growth forecast for this year has been revised slightly.

“The focus for 2017 has revised down marginally to 1.1% from 1.2% and remains unchanged at 1.6% for 2018.”

S&P Global is in agreement, but says the improvement in growth could be slightly higher, reaching 1.4%

However, the agency has cautioned that political tensions could still derail government efforts to improve policy implementation.

It also says government spending is now limited when helping the local economy and every effort needs to be made to boost growth.

(Edited by Neo Koza)