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Low potential growth needs to be addressed, Sarb on economy

The bank said South Africa would keep paying a high rate of interest on the loans used to plug a widening budget deficit until its fiscal problems were addressed.

The South African Reserve Bank. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) said low potential growth was still the most important aspect of the country's economic problems.

This has been stated in its bi-annual monetary policy review publication on Tuesday.

The bank said South Africa would keep paying a high rate of interest on the loans used to plug a widening budget deficit until its fiscal problems were addressed.

The Reserve Bank said consumer inflation was expected to remain within the target range of between 3% and 6% until 2021.

This is after it kept the repo rate unchanged at 6.5% in September; the bank has been criticised for this.

However, it has hinted that it was willing to lower rates to support growth.

But it said adjusting the repo rate should only help in the interim and the larger issue of overall growth was beyond the powers of monetary policy.