Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Poland holds rate, sees steady rate at least until end-2013

    Poland's central bank held its reference rate steady at 2.50 percent, as expected, and said it would maintain the rate "at least until the end of 2013, which will support return of inflation to the target in the medium term."
    The National Bank of Poland (NBP), which has cut rates by 150 basis points this year, said the guidance was based on the low inflation pressure and "moderate scale of the expected recovery."
    "In the opinion of the Council, gradual economic recovery is likely to continue in the coming quarters, however, inflationary pressure will remain subdued," the NBP said.
      At its previous meeting in July, the NBP cut its rate by 25 basis points and said this cut ended its monetary easing cycle. The cycle began in November 2012 and since then the central bank has cut rates by 225 basis points.
    Global economic activity was somewhat higher in the second quarter than the first and the central bank said this points to "continued gradual recovery in the major developed economies."
    Polish data on industrial production, construction output and retail sales in July "point to the possibility of gradual improvement in business conditions at the beginning of 2013 Q3," the central bank said,  adding growth remains "considerably below its potential."

    Poland's Gross Domestic Product expanded by 0.4 percent in the second quarter from the first quarter, the third quarter with stronger growth, for annual growth of 0.8 percent, up from 0.5 percent in the first quarter.
    The central bank said GDP growth was supported by a substantial contribution of net exports but a further decline in domestic demand though private consumption rose in the second quarter while the decrease in investment was larger than in the first quarter.
    The inflation rate jumped to 1.1 percent in July from 0.2 percent in June, but remains markedly below the central bank's 2.5 percent inflation target. The rise was driven by regulatory factors, such as higher waste disposal fees, and the central bank said inflation expectations of households continued to decline and demand and cost pressures remained low.
    Moderate global economic activity is also conducive to low inflation in many countries.
    Like most emerging market currencies, the Polish zloty depreciated in May, due to signals of a probably reduction in monetary expansion by the U.S. Federal Reserve, but since early July the zloty has firmed and is down only 4.7 percent against the euro this year, trading at 4.28 to the euro today.


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