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Namibia’s Central Bank Leaves Interest Rate Unchanged at 6%

Feb. 23 (Bloomberg) -- 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 bank felt a change in the stance at this stage could affect the speed of recovery and run the risk of reversing the gains made so far,” Shiimi said.

The economy in Namibia, the world’s biggest miner of offshore diamonds and the fourth-largest producer of uranium, expanded 4.6 percent last year, the central bank said in a statement today, after contracting the year before. A slowdown in growth in Europe is the principle threat to the economy, Shiimi said on Dec. 15.

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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