South Africa’s annual inflation rate was unchanged in September from the previous month, remaining within the central bank’s target band.
The inflation rate was steady at 4.6 percent in the month, the Pretoria-based statistics office said on Wednesday. The median estimate of 26 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was 4.7 percent. Prices were unchanged on the month.
The Reserve Bank has taken a gradual approach in tightening monetary policy, raising the benchmark repurchase rate three times since the beginning of last year to 6 percent. While the bank forecasts inflation will breach the 3 percent to 6 percent target band next year, it’s also trying to support an economy that contracted for the first time in more than a year in the second quarter.
The bank “remains on a gradual normalization path and is of the view that monetary policy remains accommodative,” Deputy Governor Daniel Mminele said in a speech on Tuesday. “The Monetary Policy Committee has to achieve a fine balance between realizing its core objective, and not unduly undermining growth in the short term.”
Core inflation, which excludes food, non-alcoholic beverages, gasoline and electricity costs, was also unchanged at 5.3 percent in September.