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Repo rate to remain unchanged at 6.5%

The repo rate is the rate at which the central bank lends money to commercial banks.

FILE: South African Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago. Picture: AFP.

PRETORIA - South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) governor Lesetja Kganyago has announced that the repo rate will remain unchanged at 6.5%.

The repo rate is the rate at which the central bank lends money to commercial banks.

At its previous meeting in September, the Monetary Policy Committee also decided to keep the rate unchanged, citing factors that could influence inflation.

On Wednesday, Stats SA announced that the headline consumer price index fell to 3.7% in October, from 4.1% the month before, representing its lowest level since February 2011.

Kganyago said there were a number of headwinds challenging growth.

“Since the September meeting of the MPC, global economic indicators have remained weak and global inflation low. Central banks in advanced economies provided more monetary accommodation, helping to ease global financing conditions, but further easing appears less likely. Downside risks from heightened trade tensions and geopolitical developments remain,” Kganyago said.

He added: “Despite a rebound in local GDP in the second quarter of this year, indicators suggest that economic activity will remain weak for the rest of the year. Recent monthly inflation has been lower than the mid-point of the inflation target range, as owners’ equivalent rent, food, and services inflation remain subdued.”

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