South Africa Central Bank Holds Rate Steady In Split Vote

South Africa's central bank left its key interest rate unchanged on Thursday in a split vote, citing slow economic recovery and low inflation.

The Monetary Policy Committee decided to leave the repo rate unchanged at 3.5 percent, South African Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago said in a statement.

Two members of the committee preferred a 25 basis point cut, while three preferred to hold rates at the current level.

The implied policy rate path projects two increases of 25 basis points in the second and third quarters of 2021, the bank said.

"The Committee notes that the slow economic recovery will help keep inflation below the midpoint of the target range for this year and next," the bank said.

"Unless risks outlined earlier materialize, inflation is expected to be well contained in 2021, before rising to around the midpoint in 2022 and 2023."

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