Namibia's Central Bank Says it Leaves Key Interest Rate Unchanged at 6%

Namibia’s central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged after economic growth accelerated and the inflation rate rose from a five-year low.

The repurchase rate stayed at 6 percent, Bank of Namibia Governor Ipumbu Shiimi told reporters today in the capital, Windhoek. The bank cut interest rates at the last two meetings and the latest decision is in line with South Africa’s move to leave its repo rate at 5.5 percent on Jan. 20.

The economy in Namibia, the world’s biggest miner of offshore diamonds and the fourth-largest producer of uranium, expanded about 4.2 percent last year, after a 0.7 percent contraction in 2009, Shiimi said on Dec. 15. A slowdown in growth in Europe is a threat to Namibia’s economy, he said.

Inflation accelerated to 3.5 percent in January from 3.1 percent a month earlier, which was the lowest rate since December 2005.

Namibia’s currency is pegged to the South African rand and the central bank generally follows monetary policy set by the South African Reserve Bank.

To contact the reporters on this story: Chamwe Kaira in Windhoek via Johannesburg at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.

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