Press conference held after the January 2013 meeting of the Monetary Policy Council
Report: The Monetary Policy Council reduced again interest rates by 0.25 percentage points. The Council also announced that it did not rule out further monetary policy easing should the economic slowdown continue and the risk of rising inflationary pressures be limited.
The Monetary Policy Council, at the meeting held on 8 and 9 January 2013, decided to reduce interest rates to the same extent as a month earlier, i.e. by 25 basis points. As of 10 January 2013, the reference rate will be 4.00% on an annual basis, the Lombard rate – 5.50% on an annual basis, the deposit rate – 2.50% on an annual basis, and the rediscount rate – 4.25% on an annual basis.
The press conference held after the Council’s meeting was attended by the NBP President, Prof. Marek Belka, and the Council members – Prof. Anna Zielińska-Głębocka and Prof. Jan Winiecki. When presenting the rationale for the Monetary Policy Council decision, Mr. Belka said that “in the Council’s view, the incoming data confirm a marked economic slowdown in Poland curbing wage and inflationary pressures. At the same time, the Council estimates that GDP growth will remain moderate in the coming quarters, which poses a risk of inflation running below the NBP inflation target in the medium term. Taking this into account, the Council resolved to lower the interest rates again. A reduction in interest rates helps increase economic activity and mitigates the risk of inflation falling below the target in the medium term.”.
The Monetary Policy Council is not ruling out another interest rate cut as early as in February. “Should the incoming data confirm persistent economic slowdown, and the risk of inflationary pressure growth remain limited, the Council is not ruling out further monetary policy easing” – reads the press release. Prof. Belka said at today’s conference that “this round of interest rate cuts is coming to an end”. – An interest rate cut is still possible, or even likely, albeit not unconditional, and it surely is the sign that we are coming to the end of a certain stage – said the NBP President.
Professor Belka also said that a potential shift in Council’s stance could take place after the economic situation in the first months of 2013 has been analysed.
When asked whether by taking a decision on a cycle of interest rate cuts, the Council departs from “combatting inflation in favour of supporting economic growth”, Prof. Anna Zielińska-Głębocka told newsmen that in the absence of risk of inflationary pressure, the Council can support growth. – There is nothing wrong about supporting economic growth through available measures if there is no risk of inflationary pressure. We have a main goal that we bear in mind, as we conduct a fairly conventional monetary policy – she added. – If we compare today’s policy of central banks worldwide, then it is clear that inflation is no longer a threat, and economic growth is a No. 1 item on the agenda. In this context, Poland is an exception as we have taken a very serious approach to combatting inflation– added Professor Belka.