Namibia's central bank kept its main interest rate unchanged at 6.0 percent on Wednesday, but said economic growth is likely to be better than previously expected as the economy recovers from a downturn.

The central bank said it now expected 2010 economic growth at 4.6 percent, compared to a previous forecast of 4.2 percent.

We are keeping the rates the same in order not to choke off the economic recovery and because of the rising inflationary pressures, Bank of Namibia Governor Ipumbu Shiimi said at the first monetary policy meeting of the year

Shiimi saw inflation averaging 5.0 percent in 2011, saying it was still within a reasonable range.

The bank expects the economy to expand by between 3.8 and 4.1 percent in 2011, depending on developments in the euro zone, the global recovery and the relatively strong domestic currency.

Growth will be led by manufacturing, processing of minerals and cement production.

The bank's forecasts for output show a moderate growth in mining of 6.1 percent versus 3.4 percent in 2010. Uranium production will increase slightly to 5,876 tonnes of yellow cake from 5,279 in 2010.

Diamond output is expected to stay about the same at an estimated 1.47 million carats.

Zinc production is estimated to be 207,410 tonnes and gold 2,683 kilograms in 2011.