Namibia holds policy rate after inflation slows

WINDHOEK (Reuters) -Namibia’s central bank kept its main lending rate unchanged at 7.75% on Wednesday, citing softening inflation pressures and the need to maintain a currency peg to the South African rand.

The decision comes after a 50 basis point (bps) hike at its previous policy meeting in June and two 25 bps hikes in April and February.

Namibia’s consumer inflation fell to 4.5% in annual terms in July compared with 5.3% in June.

The Bank of Namibia said on Wednesday that 2023 inflation was now forecast to average 5.6%, down 0.4 percentage point on the forecast it gave in June.

“The revision was mainly on the back of more-than-anticipated deflation in the transport category,” central bank Governor Johannes !Gawaxab said in a statement.

(Reporting by Nyasha Nyaungwa; Writing by Bhargav Acharya; Editing by Alexander Winning)