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Belarus Monetary Policy April 2023

Belarus: Central Bank announces further rate cuts from April

On 24 March, the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB) announced it would cut the refinancing rate again by 50 basis points to 10.50% from 11.00%, effective 3 April. The move will mark the third consecutive rate cut since January 2023. Additionally, the Bank decided to decrease the interest rate on overnight loans to 11.50% from 12.00% and the interest rate on overnight deposits to 9.50% from 10.00%.

The Bank’s decision was supported by an ongoing disinflationary trend in line with official targets: Price pressures softened notably following the price controls introduced in October 2022 and eased to 11.7% in February. The Bank stated that it expects inflation to continue moderating through Q2 2023. Nevertheless, the NBRB outlined that upside risks to the inflationary outlook included high inflation expectations, elevated savings denominated in Belarusian rubles and an increased money supply.

The Bank’s forward guidance remained vague; upcoming decisions will take into account inflation and inflation expectations, as well as internal and external risks affecting financial markets. Our panel currently anticipates the key policy rate to remain close to current values by the end of 2023 as the Bank balances inflationary risks and a struggling domestic economy.

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