Poland: NBP keeps the reference rate at record low of 1.50%
May 6, 2015
The National Bank of Poland (NBP) kept its reference rate at the record low of 1.50% at its 5–6 May monetary policy meeting. The decision matched market expectations and followed two consecutive 0.5% cuts to the reference rate.
In its accompanying statement, the NBP mentioned that the global economy continues to grow moderately and that it expects a slight acceleration in 2015, although the situation varies across countries and regions. According to the Bank, the U.S. economy should continue to recover at a solid pace despite a disappointing first quarter of growth in 2015. Economic activity in the Euro area remains relatively low, but recent data suggest gradual improvements. In contrast, the outlooks for Poland’s eastern European partners such as Russia and Ukraine remains unfavorable. On the domestic front, the NBP commented that, “economic activity remains stable, with GDP growth in 2015 Q1 probably slightly higher than in 2014 Q4.”
Regarding inflation, the Bank stated that the decline in prices for oil and moderate nominal wage growth are contributing to the continued lack of cost pressure, while moderate growth in demand and the negative output gap are keeping demand-driven price pressures subdued. While oil prices have risen slightly recently, global price growth remains very low and even negative in many European countries. Thus, major central banks are keeping their interest rates close to zero. In addition, the European Central Bank continues its asset purchase program, contributing to higher financial asset prices in many European countries.
Finally, the Bank commented that, “the annual price growth will remain negative in the coming quarters, mainly due to the previously observed sharp fall in commodity prices. At the same time, the expected gradual acceleration of economic growth, amidst recovery in the euro area and good situation in the domestic labour market, reduce the risk of inflation remaining below the target in the medium term. Therefore, the Council decided to keep NBP interest rates unchanged.”
Author: Eric Denis , Economist