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Opportunity for individuals
The US Federal Reserve Bank’s dovish stance, which could possibly see a 25bps rate cut at the FOMC meeting scheduled for 31 July, has been supportive of high-yielding emerging market currencies such as the rand.“I think it is appropriate to cut interest rates, perhaps the debate now is if they should have cut by a larger or smaller amount,” said Bishop.
What does the cut mean for the consumer?
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“Many use the opportunity to reduce debt by keeping interest payments the same even though obviously they would automatically drop – if you have a lower interest rate. And that is a positive for building financial stability in households.”
Annabel Bishop, Investec Chief Economist
A decidedly neutral outlook
Event risk in South Africa is high with a key focus on Eskom - which requires a bailout from government and a restructuring of its debt. It's also dependent on a slower pace of fiscal consolidation and the effect of lower GDP growth on government’s tax revenues.Internationally, geopolitical risks such as tensions between the US and Iran, as well as trade negotiations between the US and China, will be closely monitored.
The impact on corporate SA
Impact of the rate cut on corporate SA
“The repo rate cut at best could have a small effect on sentiment and companies that are highly leveraged might see a slight improvement in their cash flows.”
Tertia Jacobs, Investec Treasury Economist
The Reserve Bank revised its GDP growth rate for 2019 down from 1.0% to 0.6% but left the forecast for 2020 and 2021 unchanged at 1.8% and 2.0%.
The inflation outlook remains stable which is encouraging as inflation volatility has declined. This is reflected in inflation breaching the upper end of the target band over the past 10 years for only 26 months compared to 70 months in the previous decade, according to Deputy SARB Governor Daniel Mminele.
The 2019 inflation forecast was revised down from 4.5% to 4.4% but left unchanged at 5.1% and 4.6%.
About the author
Digital content specialist
Lenyaro is a key member of Investec's Global Content team, based in Johannesburg, who focuses on relevant and topical issues for internal and external audiences including clients. She is a well-travelled multi-skilled multimedia journalist who previously held roles within eNews Channel Africa (eNCA) and Eyewitness News (EWN).