Dovish SARB to keep rates low for some time

Policymakers in South Africa kept their benchmark rate unchanged at 3.50% today and the dovish tone of the communications supports our view that interest rates won’t rise until the middle of next year.
Virag Forizs Emerging Markets Economist
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Africa Economics Weekly

‘BIG’ push in SA, FX distortions in Nigeria, tourism woes

Momentum behind proposals for a basic income grant (BIG) in South Africa appear to be building, suggesting that the authorities are leaning towards providing more fiscal support. Elsewhere, Nigeria’s unorthodox foreign exchange policy seems to be disrupting activity but the chances of policymakers reversing course are very low. Finally, a recent virus wave in the highly-vaccinated island nation of Mauritius has dampened its recovery prospects, but other tourism-dependent economies in Africa will probably fare even worse.

17 September 2021

Africa Economics Update

CBN maintains interest rates and disruptive FX rules

Policymakers in Nigeria kept their benchmark rate on hold at 11.50% at today’s MPC meeting and will probably continue to do so over 2021-23. And the central bank’s insistence on maintaining a strong currency using disruptive foreign exchange rules is likely to come at an increasingly high economic cost.

17 September 2021

Africa Economics Update

SA to struggle to get back on economic feet after July hit

South Africa’s hard activity data for July underscored the severe blow to the retail and manufacturing sectors from violent unrest and tighter virus restrictions. While much of the hit has probably unwound more recently, weak growth momentum increases the risk of a contraction in GDP over Q3 as a whole.

15 September 2021

More from Virag Forizs

Africa Data Response

South Africa Consumer Prices (Jun.)

South Africa’s headline inflation rate eased in June, to 4.9% y/y, and with soft underlying price pressures and clouds over the economic recovery, the Reserve Bank will stand pat at tomorrow’s MPC meeting. Indeed, we think the repo rate will remain unchanged well into next year.

21 July 2021

Africa Economics Update

South Africa’s unrest: the fallout for the public finances

The disruption to economic activity from the unrest and violence in South Africa, which now appears to be dissipating, will probably prove to be limited, but the impact on the public finances is likely to be more significant. In particular, there is a rising likelihood that the authorities scale back their fiscal consolidation plans, which would leave the public debt ratio on a worrying upwards trajectory.

16 July 2021

Africa Data Response

Nigeria Consumer Prices (Jun.)

The latest drop in Nigeria’s headline inflation rate, to 17.8% y/y in June, is likely to reassure policymakers that price pressures are softening and that policy tightening is not necessary to curb inflation. We think that monetary policy settings will remain unchanged over our forecast horizon.

16 July 2021
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