Belarus: Central Bank cuts rates further in May
On 2 May, the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB) announced it would cut the refinancing rate again by 50 basis points to 10.00%. Additionally, the Bank decided to lower the interest rate on overnight loans by 50 basis points to 11.00% and the interest rate on overnight deposits to 9.00%. The move marked the fourth consecutive rate cut since January 2023.
The Bank’s decision was supported by a drastic drop in inflation: Price pressures came in at 5.8% in March, halving from February’s 11.6%. March’s figure confirmed the disinflationary trend that began following the introduction of price controls in October 2022. A high base effect from the onset of the war in Ukraine has further supported the inflation moderation so far this year.
In its forward guidance, the Bank stated that upcoming decisions will be based on inflation and inflation expectations, as well as internal and external risks affecting financial markets. Our panel anticipates the key policy rate hovering around current values by the end of 2023 as the Bank balances inflationary risks and a struggling domestic economy.