Press conference after the April meeting of the Monetary Policy Council
Interest rates will remain unchanged in April, yet the MPC indicates – more strongly than before – that it considers rising the rates. The MPC approved the annual financial statements of the National Bank of Poland for 2011, showing a profit of over PLN 8.6 bn.
At its meeting held on 3-4 April 2012, the Monetary Policy Council decided to leave the policy interest rates unchanged. The reference rate continues to stand at 4.5% on an annual basis.
The press conference following the meeting of the MPC was attended by Prof. Marek Belka – President of the NBP, Prof. Anna Zielińska-Głębocka and Prof. Jan Winiecki – Members of the Monetary Policy Council. They were mainly asked to comment on the closing paragraph from the press release after the MPC meeting, which reads as follows: "In the opinion of the Council, the expected mild economic slowdown in Poland (...) increases the probability of inflation remaining above the target in the medium term. Given the above, the Council will consider tightening of monetary policy in the nearest future, unless signs of considerable economic weakening in Poland appear and the outlook for inflation returning to the target fail to improve." The NBP President confirmed that, compared to previous months, it is a turn to a tighter monetary policy bias.
“ Interest rate cuts are no longer seen to be likely”, said Prof. Belka, adding that the MPC would be more concerned about data from real economy and less about the rate of the monthly CPI.
When asked about the prospects of the zloty, Prof. Belka reminded the audience that fluctuations in the zloty exchange rate had decreased following the NBP foreign exchange interventions, and the first months of 2012 had seen an appreciation of the złoty. However, there is no point in forecasting the zloty exchange rate because it is mainly determined by sentiment developments on global markets in relation to all economies in this part of Europe.
The NBP President confirmed that the Monetary Policy Council had approved the 2011 annual financial statements of the National Bank of Poland showing a profit of PLN 8.637 bn. According to the law, 95% of NBP profit will be transferred to the State Budget. It will allow to decrease the borrowing requirement of the state and may reduce government debt by approx. 0.5-0.6%.
Journalists also asked about the possibility of applying – by the Monetary Policy Council – non-standard monetary policy instruments used by the major central banks. Both Prof. Belka and Prof. Zielińska-Głębocka argued that today Poland is one of few countries conducting normal monetary policy in turbulent times. The application of non-standard instruments leads to new imbalances in the economy, which must be rectified after the crisis.
Press release after the MBC meeting held on 3-4 April 2012
Recording of the Monetary Policy Council press conference (mp3, 43 MB)