Ukraine: NBU leaves key rate unchanged at September meeting
At its meeting on 8 September, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) unanimously voted to maintain its policy rate at 25.00%, after the largest rate hike in 24 years at its June meeting.
The board members’ decision to leave the main rate unchanged was chiefly due to a lower-than-expected inflation figure in July. The figure came amid tighter monetary policy, falling prices for oil and a seasonal increase in the food supply. Moreover, the Bank’s intervention to support the hryvnia last July similarly helped keep inflation in check and supported macroeconomic stability. Nonetheless, the Bank expects inflation to remain elevated as a result of the widespread disruption from the war and the worsening of inflation expectations. Against this backdrop, the NBU felt it was appropriate to continue its wait-and-see approach.
In its September release, the Bank stated that with the current baseline scenario, rates are expected to remain at current levels until Q2 2024. That said, it “stands ready to raise the key policy rate above its current level and to deploy additional measures to protect international reserves, as well as and to maintain control over inflation”. As such, all but one of our panelists expect rates to remain steady through 2022, before being lowered in 2023.
The next monetary policy meeting is scheduled for 20 October.