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

Johannesburg - South Africa had not improved exports even as the local currency weakened against the dollar, Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus said in an interview on Talk Radio 702 last night.

At 5pm the rand was bid at R10.5966, up 6.69c from the same time on Monday, as disappointing US data limited gains in the dollar. Earlier this month the rand reached a five-year low of R10.76 to the dollar.

Despite the rand’s muted reaction to the announcement last month that the US Federal Reserve would begin tapering its bond purchases this month, it could still be vulnerable in the coming months, analysts at Absa Capital wrote in a quarterly economic outlook published yesterday.

Marcus said the country’s challenge for this year was to be “the standout country that it can be”.

She added that the global outlook for the year was better than before.

She also hailed the confirmation of Janet Yellen as chairwoman of the US Federal Reserve, saying Yellen was “an excellent central banker”. – Bloomberg