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Economists expect Reserve Bank to leave rates unchanged

Earlier on Wednesday, Stats SA announced that CPI slowed to 4.8% in October in line with expectations.

Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Economists say despite the latest slowdown in consumer inflation, they still expect the Reserve Bank to leave rates on hold at their meeting on Thursday.

Earlier on Wednesday, Stats SA announced that CPI slowed to 4.8% in October in line with expectations.

October marks the seventh straight month that headline consumer inflation is within the Reserve Bank's 3% to 6% target band, thanks to lower food price inflation due to easing drought effects.

Consumer inflation slowed to 4.8%, as food and transport inflation dropped.

Portfolio manager at Absa Asset Management James Turp says the movement of core inflation which excludes the prices of food, non-alcoholic beverages, petrol and energy was a big surprise.

“The surprise here was the core CPI numbers that came in lower than expected, with a year-on-year on 4.5% against the expected 4.6%, still showing that core inflation figure is easy.”

Other economists say rates will remain on hold given the mounting economic risks which include the African National Congress’s elective conference in December and possible ratings downgrade on Friday.