Belarus: Central Bank keeps the policy rate unchanged in August
August 12, 2020
At its 12 August meeting, the National Bank of The Republic of Belarus (NBRB) kept the refinancing rate unchanged at its record low of 7.75%.
The decision to stay put came despite downbeat demand, and was driven by a desire to support the ruble, which has depreciated notably over the past month. In its press release, the Bank spoke of “the increased devaluation expectations of economic agents and the current situation in the foreign exchange and deposit markets”, and stated that “in order to preserve financial stability, it is important to maintain the propensity to save in the national currency”.
Looking ahead, the Bank struck a dovish note in its statement, highlighting that inflation was below its expectations and underlining the risk of deflationary pressures ahead due to downbeat activity. As a result, assuming some stability in the ruble, the NBRB will likely ease policy going forward. Accordingly, most of our panel sees at least a 0.25 percentage point rate cut taking place by year-end.
The next monetary policy meeting is scheduled for 14 October.