Even before SA scientists, in November, told the world — to the country's great cost — that they had discovered a new variant of the coronavirus, central banks were already facing a dilemma. Omicron has just made that even more stark, with implications that go beyond monetary policy.

An interesting question for SA is whether the Reserve Bank would have acted differently if it had held its policy meeting just one week later. On November 18, it hiked the repo rate, starting an unwind of an emergency policy setting that had left it at a record low 3.5%. The move was mildly controversial, coming with no clear evidence that the inflation situation had deteriorated. ..

This article is free to read if you sign up or sign in.

If you have already registered or subscribed, please sign in to continue.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.