The South African Reserve Bank unanimously decided to axe its key repo rate by 100 bps to 5.25% during its March 2020 meeting, surprising markets who expected a smaller 50 bps cut, amid growing uncertainty over the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the already fragile economy. It was the 2nd straight rate cut so far this year, bringing borrowing costs to the lowest since December of 2013. Policymakers said that low inflation has created space for monetary policy to respond to deteriorating economic conditions. The economy is now expected to contract 0.2% in 2020 (vs prior 1.2% growth), before expanding 1% in 2021 (vs prior 1.6%) and 1.6% in 2022 (vs prior 1.9%). Current forecasts point to inflation at 3.8% in 2020 (vs prior 4.7%), 4.6% in 2021 (unrevised) and 4.4% in 2022 (vs prior 4.5%). The bank reiterated that monetary policy cannot on its own improve the potential growth or reduce fiscal risks and urged the government to implement prudent macroeconomic policies.

Interest Rate in South Africa averaged 12.39 percent from 1998 until 2020, reaching an all time high of 23.99 percent in June of 1998 and a record low of 5 percent in July of 2012. This page provides - South Africa Interest Rate - actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news. South Africa Interest Rate - data, historical chart, forecasts and calendar of releases - was last updated on April of 2020. source: South African Reserve Bank

Interest Rate in South Africa is expected to be 5.75 percent by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Interest Rate in South Africa to stand at 5.25 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the South Africa Interest Rate is projected to trend around 5.00 percent in 2021, according to our econometric models.

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South Africa Interest Rate

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
5.25 6.25 23.99 5.00 1998 - 2020 percent Daily


Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2019-09-19 01:00 PM 6.5% 6.5% 6.5% 6.50%
2019-11-21 01:00 PM 6.5% 6.5% 6.5% 6.50%
2020-01-16 01:00 PM 6.25% 6.5% 6.5% 6.5%
2020-03-19 01:00 PM 5.25% 6.25% 5.75% 5.75%
2020-05-21 01:00 PM 5.25% 5.25%
2020-07-23 01:00 PM 5.50%
2020-09-17 01:00 PM 5.50%
2020-11-19 01:00 PM 5.50%


News Stream
South Africa Slashes Key Interest Rate to 5.25%
The South African Reserve Bank unanimously decided to axe its key repo rate by 100 bps to 5.25% during its March 2020 meeting, surprising markets who expected a smaller 50 bps cut, amid growing uncertainty over the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the already fragile economy. It was the 2nd straight rate cut so far this year, bringing borrowing costs to the lowest since December of 2013. Policymakers said that low inflation has created space for monetary policy to respond to deteriorating economic conditions. The economy is now expected to contract 0.2% in 2020 (vs prior 1.2% growth), before expanding 1% in 2021 (vs prior 1.6%) and 1.6% in 2022 (vs prior 1.9%). Current forecasts point to inflation at 3.8% in 2020 (vs prior 4.7%), 4.6% in 2021 (unrevised) and 4.4% in 2022 (vs prior 4.5%). The bank reiterated that monetary policy cannot on its own improve the potential growth or reduce fiscal risks and urged the government to implement prudent macroeconomic policies.
2020-03-19
South Africa Unexpectedly Cuts Repo Rate to 6.25%
The South African Reserve Bank voted unanimously to trim its benchmark repo rate by 25bps to 6.25 percent during its January meeting, while markets had expected it to be kept steady, citing the country's persistent economic vulnerability. It was the first rate cut since July, bringing borrowing costs to the lowest level since November 2015. Policymakers noted that monthly inflation has been lower than the mid-point target and that inflation expectations continued to moderate gradually. Meantime, economic activity in Q4 is expected to have picked up, after a contraction in Q3. GDP growth projections were revised lower to 0.4% in 2019 (vs prior 0.5%), 1.2% in 2020 (vs prior 1.4%), and 1.6% in 2021 (vs prior 1.7%). Also, inflation forecasts were cut to 4.1% in 2019 (vs prior 4.2%); 4.7% in 2020 (vs prior 5.1%) and 4.6% in 2021 (vs prior 4.7%). Looking forward, the SARB see two interest rate cuts of 25bps each in Q1 and Q4 2020.
2020-01-16
South Africa Leaves Interest Rate Unchanged at 6.5%
The South African Reserve Bank held its benchmark repo rate unchanged at 6.50 percent during its November meeting, as widely expected. The decision was not unanimous. Policymakers noted that monthly inflation has been lower than the mid-point of the target range and that inflation expectations have continued to moderate gradually. Meantime, economic activity in Q3 is expected to be weak as suggested by mining and manufacturing short-term indicators. Looking ahead, the SARB disclosed that projections point to one repo cut of 25 basis points in Q3 2020, but this direction is dependent on new developments and changing data and risks.
2019-11-21
South Africa Holds Key Interest Rate Steady at 6.5%
The South African Reserve Bank decided unanimously to leave its benchmark repo rate unchanged at 6.50 percent on September 19th 2019, as widely expected, after trimming it by 25 bps in the prior meeting, despite concerns about economic growth. Policymakers noted that inflation expectations continued to moderate and said that they will continue to focus on anchoring inflation expectations near the mid-point of the inflation target in the interest of balanced and sustainable growth. The bank added that future policy decisions will continue to be highly data-dependent, sensitive to the assessment of the balance of risks to the outlook, and will seek to look-through temporary price shocks.
2019-09-19

South Africa Interest Rate
In South Africa, the interest rates decisions are taken by the South African Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). The official interest rate is the repo rate. This is the rate at which central banks lend or discount eligible paper for deposit money banks, typically shown on an end-of-period basis.