The SA Reserve Bank, which has come under intense political pressure in recent months, is set to start an interest rate easing cycle that will provide much needed relief to consumers and an economy that contracted in the first quarter at the fastest pace in about a decade.

A cut in the repo rate, which has been at 6.75% since November, is virtually assured, with just four of the 17 economists surveyed by Bloomberg expecting no change at the end of the monetary policy committee’s (MPC) meeting on Thursday.

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