The South African Reserve Bank will not raise interest rates again until May, according to a Reuters poll, taken after the central bank surprised many economists last month by adding 25 basis points to borrowing costs. The median forecast in the poll of 25 economists, conducted over the past week, suggests the central bank will wait until May before hiking interest rates by another 25 basis points, taking its key rate to 7%. The Reserve Bank increased its benchmark lending rate for the first time in nearly three years in November, with governor Lesetja Kganyago saying the risk of higher inflation in the longer term remains elevated and that it could not risk waiting until later to take action.

“Risks to the inflation outlook remain to the upside, on possible rand depreciation and above inflationary increases in administered prices, particularly electricity tariffs,” Investec economist Kamilla Kaplan wrote in a note. She pointed out that debt-troubled Eskom proposes to increase...

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