Friday, February 10, 2012

National Bank of Poland Keeps Benchmark Rate at 4.50%

The Narodowy Bank Polski's Monetary Policy Council held its benchmark 7-day interest rate stable at 4.50%.  The Bank said: "In the opinion of the Council, in the medium term inflation will be curbed by the gradually decelerating domestic demand. Decelerating demand growth will be driven by lower economic growth abroad, fiscal tightening in Poland and interest rate increases implemented in the first half of 2011."

The Bank also kept the following interest rates unchanged: the rediscount rate at 4.75%, the Lombard rate at 6.00%, and the deposit rate at 3.00%.  The Bank last raised the interest rate by 25 basis points to 4.50% in June last year, and held the interest rate unchanged at its previous meeting.  

Poland reported annual headline inflation of 4.6% in December, 3.9% in September, compared to 4.3% in August, 4.1% in July, with previous readings of 4.2% in June, 5% in May, 4.5% in April, 4.3% in March, and just higher than the Bank's official inflation target of 2.5% +/- 1%.  

The IMF recently reduced its forecast for Poland's 2011 economic growth rate to 3.8% from 4% previously.  The Polish Zloty (PLN) has weakened by about 9% against the US dollar over the past year; the USDPLN exchange rate last traded around 3.21.


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