Namibia central bank leaves bank rate unchanged at 5.5 pct

WINDHOEK Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:25am EST

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WINDHOEK Dec 12 (Reuters) - Namibia's central bank left its main lending rate unchanged at 5.5 percent for the fifth straight meeting on Thursday as it tries to boost economic growth.

"Despite the fragile global environment, growth in Namibia remains relatively strong. Inflation slowed in October and is expected to remain low for the remainder of the year," said Bank of Namibia Governor Ipumbu Shiimi.

The bank cut its 2013 growth forecast to about 4 percent, from 4.6 percent seen previously, while GDP is expected to grow 5 percent in 2014, driven mainly by construction.

Growth in the mineral-rich southern African nation was at 5 percent in 2012. (Reporting by Servaas van den Bosch; Writing by Xola Potelwa)

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