Conference following the March meeting of the Monetary Policy Council
At its March meeting, the Monetary Policy decided to keep the NBP interest rates at the present level, judging that these should remain unchanged until at least the end of the third quarter of 2014.
The Monetary Policy Council, which held a meeting on 4 and 5 March, decided to leave the NBP interest rates unchanged. Thus, the reference rate continues at 2.50%, the lombard rate at 4%, the deposit rate at 1% and the rediscount rate - at 2.75%.
This MPC decision rested on the assessment that gradual economic recovery is likely to continue in the coming quarters, while inflationary pressures will remain subdued. "This view is confirmed by the March projection of inflation and GDP. Thus, the Council decided to keep the NBP interest rates unchanged", the MPC states in its press release. The Monetary Policy Council also deemed that the NBP interest rates should remain unchanged over a longer period of time, i.e. at least until the end of 2014 Q3.
At its March meeting, the Council were familiarised with the latest inflation and GDP projection. The projection shows that - under the assumption of unchanged interest rates, and taking into account data available up until 14 February - there is a 50% probability that in 2014 inflation will range between 0.8% and 1.4% (1.1%-2.2% in the previous, November 2013 projection), in 2015 between 1.0% and 2.6% (as against 1.1%-2.6%), and in 2016 between 1.6% and 3.3%. The annual GDP growth will range from 2.9% to 4.2% in 2014 (as against 2.0%-3.9% in the November 2013 projection), from 2.7% to 4.8% in 2015 (against 2.1%-4.5%) and from 2.3% and 4.8% in 2016.
"The projection of inflation and GDP clearly shows a high degree of predictability of economic trends. It contains no indications that we should be concerned about inflationary pressures in the nearest quarters", said Professor Marek Belka during the press conference following the MPC meeting.
The conference was attended, apart from the Chairman of the Council, by Professor Jan Winiecki and and Dr Andrzej Bratkowski.
In response to the questions from the press about the reasons for extending the period during which interest rates should not be changed, Professor Belka explained that the Council wanted to show that the fundamentals of the Polish economy are sound, also in the face of the recent turmoil in Ukraine. "The developments in Ukraine have urged us to show that we perceive no threats to the economy, at least in the context of monetary policy conduct. We wanted to manifest our confidence in the strength of the fundamentals of the Polish economy and the stability of the zloty", said NBP president.