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Guatemala Monetary Policy May 2024

Guatemala: Banguat holds fire for the ninth successive meeting in May

On 29 May, the Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Guatemala (Banguat) unanimously decided to keep the key policy rate at 5.00%, marking the ninth consecutive hold since May 2023.

The decision to hold was motivated by a consolidated downward trend in inflation: Price pressures receded further to 3.4% in April, inching closer to the floor of the Bank’s 3.0–5.0% target range. Banguat attributed the disinflationary trend to a still-tight monetary policy backdrop, as well as easing imported price pressures. Moreover, the authority’s most recent forecasts for both inflation and inflation expectations in 2024–2025 remained within target.

Regarding activity, Banguat noted that most short-term indicators aligned with its growth forecasts of 3.5% and 3.7% for 2024 and 2025, respectively, giving it less scope to cut rates.

In its communiqué, Banguat did not include explicit forward guidance but once again highlighted its commitment to anchor inflation within its target range. Our panelists expect Banguat to embark on a monetary policy easing cycle later this year and have penciled in around 100 basis points of cuts by year-end.

The next monetary policy meeting is scheduled for 26 June.

EIU analysts commented:

“We believe that [Banguat] will embark on a gradual easing cycle in September, cutting the policy rate from its current level of 5%. We think that monetary easing will then continue for the rest of 2024, with the policy rate reaching 2.75% in 2025. In any case, Guatemala’s low level of financial intermediation reduces the influence of interest-rate pass-through on the whole economy.”

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