Conference following the April meeting of the Monetary Policy Council
At the April meeting, the Monetary Policy Council decided to leave the interest rates unchanged.
At the meeting held on 14 and 15 April, the Monetary Policy Council decided to leave the NBP interest rates unchanged. Thus, the reference rate continues at 1.50%, the lombard rate at 2.50%, the deposit rate at 0.50% and the rediscount rate at 1.75%.
In the opinion of the Council, price growth will remain negative in the next few quarters, primarily as a result of the fall in commodity prices observed over the recent period. Yet there is no threat to the Polish economy of inflation persisting below the target in the medium run. Such a risk was constrained by the March monetary policy adjustment. Besides, economic growth is progressing at stable rates, domestic labour market conditions are sound, while signs of recovery are coming from the euro area. “Therefore, the Council decided to keep NBP interest rates unchanged”, said the MPC in the release following the meeting.
March data released by GUS (Central Statistical Office) show that deflation in Poland has bottomed out – prices of consumer goods and services fell by 1.5% y/y in March. Asked to comment on this information, NBP President Professor Marek Belka said “According to the expectations of the Economic Institute, deflation in March was to have reached -1.4%. It ended up at -1.5%. This means that the process of getting out of the trough – which we have passed – is slow for the time being.”
Asked about the space for further interest rate cuts, Professor Belka emphasised that the cycle of monetary policy easing has been completed. “The statement that further interest rate cuts are not on the agenda still stands”. Neither should such measures be, in the NBP President’s opinion, taken because of the recently observed strengthening of the zloty. “Nothing much is happening to change our approach – or should happen”, he said, adding: “A considerable weakening of economic activity – that could be called a material change of the situation.
Besides the NBP President, the conference was attended by Professors Adam Glapiński and Jerzy Hausner. The next MPC meeting is scheduled for 5 and 6 May 2015.