Cape Town. 100219. South Africa is coming out of its first recession in almost two decades reasonably rapidly, says Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus. Marcus also said monetary policy remains directed towards containing inflation. The central bank has cut rates by 500 basis points since December 2008, and left the repo rate flat at 7,0% at its last four meetings. Picture Mxolisi Madela

The Reserve Bank has downwardly revised its economic growth forecast for SA to 2.9% next year and 3.6% in 2014 on continued worries over the global economic slowdown and labour unrest in the mining‚ transport‚ and agriculture sector.

The bank had forecast a growth rate of 3.4% for 2013 previously.

Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus said the global economic outlook had deteriorated since their last meeting in September‚ adding that prospects for the region remained bleak.

The eurozone‚ which is a key export destination for local goods‚ is in recession‚ which bodes ill for local economic prospects.

Governor Marcus said the strikes in the agriculture sector were also likely to add pressure to growth. - I-Net Bridge