By Staff Reporter

WINDHOEK – In these trying economic times some relief for consumers came yesterday when the Bank of Namibia’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) left the repo rate unchanged at 6.75 percent. According to the MPC, this rate is appropriate to maintain the one-to-one link between the Namibia Dollar and the South African Rand, while supporting domestic economic growth. The repo rate is the rate at which commercial banks borrow money from the central bank and in turn determines interest rates charged to bank customers.

Making the announcement, Bank of Namibia Governor Iipumbu Shiimi noted that the domestic economy remained weak during the first eight months of 2018. “Inflation remained low, but started increasing in recent months. Private sector credit extension (PSCE) growth continued to be slow, while the stock of international reserves is still sufficient,” said Shiimi.

As at September 30, the stock of international reserves stood at N$32.5 billion, from N$32.6 billion reported in the previous MPC statement. At this level, the stock of international reserves is estimated to cover 5.2 months of imports of goods and services.

However, he cautioned that domestic economic activity remained weak during the first eight months of 2018. “Activity in sectors such as agriculture and wholesale and retail trade continued to decline over this period. Some improvements were, however, visible in the mining, transport and communication sectors. Overall, growth in the domestic economy is expected to remain low in 2018,” Shiimi stated.