Conference following the July meeting of the Monetary Policy Council
At the July meeting, the Monetary Policy Council decided to leave the interest rates unchanged.
At the meeting held on 7 and 8 July, the Monetary Policy Council decided to leave the NBP interest rates unchanged. Thus, the reference rate continues at 1.50%, the lombard rate at 2.50%, the deposit rate at 0.50% and the rediscount rate at 1.75%.
“In the opinion of the Council, the annual price growth will remain negative in the coming months, mainly due to the earlier sharp fall in commodity prices. At the same time, the expected stable economic growth, amidst recovery in the euro area and good situation in the domestic labour market, reduces the risk of inflation remaining below the target in the medium term. Such an assessment is supported by NBP’s July projection,” said the MPC in a release justifying its decision after the meeting.
¬“I can confirm that the likelihood of any changes in the level of interest rates is low,” said Professor Marek Belka, NBP President, during the conference following the meeting of the Monetary Policy Council. Thereby, he recalled his April statement, in which he declared that the cycle of monetary policy easing had ended.
When asked whether the situation in Greece and in the Chinese stock exchanges could convince the Council to change the level of interest rates, the NBP President said, “I don’t expect so,” and added, “If Poland were to suffer any adverse effects due to the situation in Greece, their impact would only be indirect, and the central bank is prepared to counteract them.”
The NBP President also emphasised that he hoped that Greece and the Troika would manage to work out a compromise. “The question of the status of Greece is a subject not only for the consideration of economists, but also for the consideration of lawyers. There is no detailed description in the European treaties of such an event as that which may threaten at the moment. All I can do is hope that the European Commission and the European Council reach an agreement with the Greek government, which will allow Greece to continue to function in the euro area and allow the banking system in Greece to function in the future as efficiently as possible.”
During the meeting the Council acquainted itself with the latest projection of inflation and GDP prepared by the Economic Institute. According to the projection, assuming unchanged interest rates and considering data available until 22 June, there is a 50-per cent probability of inflation running in the range of -1.1÷ -0.4% in 2015 (as compared to -1.0÷0.0% in the March 2015 projection), 0.7÷2.5% in 2016 (as compared to -0.1÷1.8%) and 0.5÷2.6% in 2017 (as compared to 0.1÷2.2%). At the same time, the annual GDP growth rate – in line with this projection – will be with a 50-percent probability in the range of 3.0÷4.3% in 2015 (as compared to 2.7÷4.2% in the March 2015 projection), 2.3÷4.5% in 2016 (as compared to 2.2÷4.4%) and 2.5÷4.7% in 2017 (as compared to 2.4÷4.6%). The Council approved Inflation Report – July 2015.
The latest Inflation Report will be presented by NBP during the conference on Monday 13 July. Due to the cut-off date for the projection, its basic scenario does not consider the events in Greece. This is why experts of the NBP Economic Institute have prepared an additional scenario that takes into consideration the situation in Greece. “On Monday you will learn about the contingency scenario, or the more pessimistic scenario, which will take into consideration these events. However, I will say straight away that there will be no revelations – the GDP and inflation path will not differ significantly from the basic scenario,” Professor Marek Belka emphasised.
Besides the Chairman, the conference was attended by Professors Elżbieta Chojna-Duch and Andrzej Kaźmierczak.
The next MPC meeting is scheduled for 1-2 September 2015.