Central Bank keeps repo rate unchanged at 6.75%
The central bank Wednesday announced that it will maintain the repo rate unchanged at 6.75%, following the Monetary Policy Committee bi-monthly meeting held earlier in the week.
Deputy Governor of the Bank, Ebson Uanguta said that the decision was taken following a review of global, regional and domestic economic and financial developments. The domestic economy remained weak in 2018 with an estimated further slight decline in real GDP, following negative growth of 0.9% recorded in 2017.
Uanguta said the weak outcome in 2018 was mainly due to declining economic activity in sectors such as agriculture and wholesale and retail trade.
“Other sectors, including mining, transport and communication as well as manufacturing improved during the same period. The domestic economy is projected to record positive growth in 2019,” Uanguta added.
Furthermore, the annual average growth in credit extended to the private sector slowed marginally to 6.1% during 2018, from 6.6% in 2017. Uanguta attributed this moderate growth to reduced demand for credit by both the household and corporate sectors, especially for mortgage, overdraft and instalment credit.
According to the Bank, as at 31 January 2019, the stock of international reserves stood at N$30.7 billion, down from the N$31.1 billion reported in December 2018.
“This amount of international reserves is estimated to cover 4.2 months of imports of goods and services. At this level, the reserves are sufficient to protect the peg of the Namibia Dollar to the Rand, and meet the country’s international financial obligations,” Uanguta said.