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Interest rates may go up this week when the Reserve Bank's monetary policy committee (MPC) convenes for its last meeting of the year, delivering on its previous warnings that rates will need to begin rising to tame inflation. It would be the first hike since March 2016. Amid recessionary economic conditions the central bank has been at pains to keep rates on hold despite rising inflation. But at the last MPC meeting, in September, three of the seven members voted for a hike, leading economists to believe that the risk of an increase is significant this week. FNB chief economist Mamello Matikinca said the bank "expects to see a hike of 25 basis points [bps]". At its last meeting, the MPC was split three to four, with the no-hike supporters edging out the hawks. But at this week's meeting the committee will comprise only six members, with the Bank's governor, a known hawk, casting the final decision in the event of a 3:3 split. October inflation data, to be released on Wednesday, is e...

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