Moldova's central bank maintained its base rate at 3.5 percent, along with its rates on overnight loans and deposits, saying monetary policy continues to be determined by the complex balance of risks from inflationary and disinflationary forces.
The National Bank of Moldova, which last cut its rate by 100 basis points in April 2013, said inflation eased to 5.1 percent in January from 5.2 percent in December due to lower regulated prices, a lack of aggregate demand and inflationary pressures despite the depreciation of the Moldavian leu against major trading partners.
The central bank targets inflation of 5.0 percent, plus/minus 1.5 percentage point. The leu depreciated by 10.6 percent against the euro in 2013 and has continued to drop this year, down 4 percent so far in 2014, trading at 18.62 to the euro today.
The central bank also said data for trade and industrial production showed significant growth in the fourth quarter of 2013, with exports and imports up by 11.0 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively, while industrial production was up by 6.8 percent. In terms of consumer demand, annual real wage growth in the fourth quarter was 3.6 percent while cash remittances rose by an annual 6.2 percent.