Inflation data will provide further insight into how the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy committee will respond when it meets at the end of March. Following the decision to hike interest rates for the first time in two years in November, inflation has eased significantly, falling below the 4.5% midpoint of the inflation targeting range. On Wednesday, Stats SA will release the inflation figures for February. Consumer inflation decelerated to 4% in January, lower than the markets’ forecast of 4.3%. It measured 4.5% in December. “The inflation outlook signals no imminent need for further monetary policy tightening in SA in the short to medium term, especially with economic growth forecasts being revised lower in recent weeks. Thus we forecast that interest rates would remain unchanged,” said NKC economist Elize Kruger, who expects inflation to increase to 4.3%.

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