Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Belarus leaves rate steady so inflation hits 2019 target

      The central bank of Belarus left its benchmark refinancing rate at 10.0 percent to ensure that inflation will meet its 2019-2020 target of 5.0 percent.
      The National Bank of the Republic of Belarus, which last lowered its rate by 50 basis points in June as it continued the easing cycle begun in April 2016, said inflation was currently is in line with forecasts and was expected to be about 5.5 percent by the end of 2018.
      The central bank added domestic demand is having a moderate impact on prices while there is some upward pressure from the external sector in connection with an expected acceleration of inflation in Russia.
      To curb this external pressure on prices, the central bank said it would maintain disinflationary monetary conditions.
      Since April 2016 the central bank has cut its refinancing rate by a total of 15 percentage points from 25.0 percent as inflation eased to average 4.6 percent last year, down from 10.6 percent in 2016.
      The inflation target has also been gradually lowered from 9.0 percent in 2017 to maximum 6.0 percent this year and then 5.0 percent for 2019 and 2020.
      In August inflation rose to 5.0 percent, up from 4.1 percent in the previous two months, while the economy grew by an annual 3.9 percent in the second quarter, down from 5.2 percent in the first quarter.



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