Windhoek - Namibia's central bank kept its main lending rate at 5.5 percent on Wednesday, saying economic growth prospects for 2014 were encouraging while inflation was expected to stay low.

The bank also raised its 2014 economic growth forecast to 5.3 percent, from 5 percent.

It expects inflation to edge up to 6 percent this year, from 5.6 percent last year.

Central bank governor Ipumbu Shiimi said the monetary policy committee decided to hold the repo rate given stronger global economic growth in the second half of 2013 and the satisfactory performance of the Namibian economy last year.

“The prospects for 2014 remain encouraging with improved economic growth and sustained low inflation,” he said.

The economy of the uranium-rich southern African country grew at 4 percent in 2013, driven by sectors such as construction, mineral production and retail, Shiimi said. - Reuters