Namibia’s Central Bank Keeps Benchmark Rate Unchanged

Namibia’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged for a fourth consecutive meeting to help support the economy while keeping inflation under control.

The repurchase rate was left at 5.5 percent, Governor Ipumbu Shiimi told reporters in the capital, Windhoek, today.

Inflation accelerated to 6.3 percent in March from 6.2 percent in the previous month, making it difficult for the central bank to stimulate the economy as demand for diamonds and other mining exports waned. The bank last reduced the key lending rate by half a percentage point in August.

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.

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