Conference following the April meeting of the Monetary Policy Council
At its April meeting, the Monetary Policy Council decided to keep the NBP interest rates at the present level, maintaining its stance 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 8 and 9 April, decided to leave the NBP interest rates unchanged. Thus, the reference rate continues at 2.50%, the lombard rate at 4.00%, the deposit rate at 1.00% 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. "Therefore, the Council decided to keep the NBP interest rates unchanged. The Council also deems that the NBP interest rates should remain unchanged over a longer period of time, i.e. at least until the end of the third quarter of 2014", the Council stated in its release.
"Until July, when the new inflation and GDP projection is presented, we do not envisage any changes in our policy stance. Until then, if nothing happens, the wording of our release will be the same", 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 Adam Glapiński and Dr Andrzej Rzońca.
When asked by the press about the impact of the situation in Eastern Europe on the Polish economy, he added that a possible recession in the Ukrainian economy and very slow economic growth in Russia could result in lower inflation and GDP in Poland. "Yet, in fact, these are not decisive factors. From the point of view of the Polish economy, these two are not principal markets", he said.
The MPC release also highlighted the economic recovery, which is beginning to be felt in the labour market. "Signs of rising employment in the enterprise sector as well as falling unemployment have been observed", the Council revealed. At the conference Professor Belka added that the Council expects further improvement in the sector. "Everything depends on how permanent the current recovery will be", he explained.
The Council also maintained its assessment, expressed in the previous release, that "lowering interest rates in the first half of 2014 and keeping them unchanged in the subsequent quarters supports the recovery of the domestic economy, gradual return of inflation to the target and stabilisation in the financial markets".
During the conference, Professor Marek Belka also informed that the Council approved the audited Report on NBP Operations 2013. "The 2013 financial result was zero, as compared with PLN 5.5 billion in 2012. This result was determined not only by the interest rate policy, but also by many independent factors, such as the zloty exchange rate, interest rates abroad or the amount of excess liquidity in the banking sector in Poland", said Professor Belka.