Namibia’s Central Bank Keeps Benchmark Rate Unchanged

Namibia’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged for a third consecutive meeting as inflation accelerated.

The repurchase rate was left at 5.5 percent, Deputy Governor Ebson Uanguta told reporters in the capital, Windhoek, today.

Inflation quickened to 6.6 percent in January from 6.3 percent in the previous month, restricting the central bank’s ability to stimulate the economy as demand for diamonds and other mining exports waned. The bank reduced the key lending rate by half a percentage point in August.

Economic growth will probably slow to 4.4 percent this year from 4.6 percent in 2012, Uanguta said.

The Namibian dollar is pegged to the South African rand and the Bank of Namibia generally follows interest rate decisions set by policy makers in the neighboring country. The South African Reserve Bank has held its benchmark repurchase rate at 5 percent since a surprise cut in July.

Namibia is the world’s largest producer of offshore diamonds and the fourth-largest miner of uranium.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.net

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