Interest rates 'likely to stay the same'

Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni will announce the Monetary Policy Committee's verdict on interest rates today at 3pm.

Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni will announce the Monetary Policy Committee's verdict on interest rates today at 3pm.

Several economists expect the committee to leave its key repo rate unchanged at 10percent.

The Reserve Bank has increased the rate by three percentage points since June last year, with the latest instalment of 50 basis points taking place at its previous meeting in August.

A poll of 19 economists last week showed that 12 expected the bank to keep interest rates on hold, while seven forecast another 50 basis points increase as inflation persists over the bank's 6percent ceiling.

Official data indicated that the main CPIX consumer inflation gauge slowed to 6,3percent in the year to August from 6,5percent in July, but it was the fifth month in a row that it was off target.

"Although data releases over the past month have mostly been a little more favourable from the point of view of averting another interest rate hike, it has probably not improved enough to avert an October hike," said Rian le Roux, chief economist at Old Mutual Investment Group. - Reuters

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