WILL CBE HIKE INTEREST RATES

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WILL CBE HIKE INTEREST RATES
WILL CBE HIKE INTEREST RATES

Africa-Press – Eswatini. All eyes are on Central Bank of Eswatini as (CBE) Governor Dr. Phil Mnisi as he will deliver his monetary policy statement tomorrow.

Dr. Mnisi will deliver his annual monetary policy statement tomorrow.

According to CBE, the governor will review what influenced monetary policy decision throughout the past year and give a brief outlook on what could influence price and financial stability in the country.

In his monetary policy statement in May, Dr. Mnisi revealed that the CBE maintained the discount rate unchanged at 7.5 per cent.

“Banks are expected to maintain the prime lending rate on loans extended to individuals and businesses unchanged at 11 per cent until the next monetary policy meeting,” said the governor.

Furthermore, during the same period, CBE revised down its inflation forecast for 2024 to 4.5 per cent from 4.91 per cent forecasted in March.

The decision comes after South Africa also kept their interest rates at 8.25 per cent in May.

Economist Thembinkosi Dube believed that the current rate should remain unchanged.

He cites controlled inflation as evidence that justifies maintaining the status quo.

“The CBE looks at inflation and currently it looks stable so at present we can nit anticipate an increase in interest rates,” said Dube.

He said the current stable inflation environment suggested that rising rates might now be necessary at this time.

“I believe that interest rates will still be kept steady until further notice,” he said.

Dube highlighted that keeping rates steady fostered economic growth as tighter monetary policy previously hindered borrowing and loan repayments.

He pointed out that with the current settings, consumers have adjusted, improving bank liquidity and consumers ability to repay their loans.

He further indicated that this is a key indicator of a healthy financial system.

“A healthy economy is characterised by borrower’s ability to access and repay loans. The current rate has facilitated this,” said Dube.

While the economic outlook appears positive, some uncertainties persist in the on-going global economic climate and potential future inflationary pressures, according to another economist.

“Dr. Mnisi’s address will be closely monitored as his decision will impact borrowing costs, investment decisions and overall economic activity,’ said the economist.

The stable rate however has seemingly contributed to a decrease in inflation, fostering a more favourable economic.

According to CNBC, the US Federal Reserve minutes indicate worries over lack of progress on inflation.

“Participants observed that while inflation had eased over the past year, in recent months there had been a lack of further progress towards the Committee’s two per cent object,” reported the media.

It further reported that the minutes also showed that various participants mentioned a willingness to tighten policy further should risks to inflation materialise in a way that such action became appropriate.

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