SA Reserve Bank to raise rates twice more this year
According to a recent Reuters poll, South Africa’s Reserve Bank (SARB) will raise interest rates twice more during 2016, despite the state of the country's economy, as inflation remains stubbornly above the Bank’s comfort level. These results were obtained via a Reuters survey of over 30 economists, who seem convinced that the Reserve Bank's interest rate hiking cycle is not over. Economists now expect the repo rate to end the year at 7.5% – a quarter of a percent higher than was expected in March, when the Bank raised rates by 25 basis points to 7.0%. In addition, the polled economists opined that inflation is only expected back on target in two years' time. Rates have been hiked 200 basis points in the last two years. Inflation is expected to accelerate and average 6.7% this year, much more than last year’s 4.6%. The poll found that it will ease to 6.3% in 2017 and 5.7% in 2018.
Pictured right: Lesetja Kganyago, governor of the South African Reserve Bank