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Namibia Central Bank Keeps Benchmark Rate at 6% to Boost Growth

Namibia’s central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged for a sixth consecutive meeting to help boost economic growth even as inflation accelerates.

The repo rate was kept at 6 percent, Bank of Namibia Governor Ipumbu Shiimi told reporters today in the capital, Windhoek. The bank has held the rate unchanged this year after reducing it at the last two meetings of 2010.

The economy of Namibia, the world’s biggest miner of offshore diamonds and the fourth-largest producer of uranium, will probably miss an initial growth forecast of 4.1 percent for 2011 as expansion in neighboring South Africa slows, according to the central bank.

The decision is in line with the central bank of its neighbor, which kept its benchmark rate at 5.5 percent last month. 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.

Inflation in Namibia climbed to 6.1 percent in October, the fastest pace since February last year, as food and fuel costs increase, the statistics office said on Nov. 15.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chamwe Kaira in Windhoek at ckaira@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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