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

Pretoria - South Africa's Reserve Bank left the repo rate unchanged at 5.0 percent on Wednesday as expected, saying the inflation outlook had deteriorated, although risks to domestic economic growth were on the downside.

All 21 economists polled by Reuters last week saw the rate holding steady, with a large majority seeing rates unchanged for the rest of the year.

“Inflation is expected to breach temporarily the upper end of the target range in the third quarter of 2013, when it is expected to average 6.3 percent,” Governor Gill Marcus told a news conference. - Reuters