Namibia leaves rates steady, cuts growth forecasts

Namibia leaves rates steady, cuts growth forecasts
Posted on Dec 12 2012 – 4:58pm by The Zambezian

WINDHOEK (Reuters) – Namibia left its key lending rate unchanged at 5.5 percent for the second straight time on Wednesday, saying inflation was within tolerable levels.

The bank previously reduced rates in August to support an economy hit by the global economic slowdown.

“The accommodative monetary policy maintained throughout the past year has helped boost demand in the domestic economy,” said the Bank of Namibia’s Deputy Governor Ebson Uanguta, adding that the low interest rate environment should be maintained to make sure growth is supported.

The bank cut its economic growth forecasts because of a fall in diamond exports, to 4.6 percent and 4.3 percent in 2012 and 2013 respectively. The economy expanded by 4.8 percent in 2011.

Economists polled by Reuters last month forecast GDP growth of 4.1 percent in 2012 and 4.5 percent in 2013.

Namibia is one of the world’s biggest diamond producers and a major source of uranium.