Belarus reports 0.8 m/m inflation in January, to cut interest rate in February

Belarus reports 0.8 m/m inflation in January, to cut interest rate in February
Belarus reports 0.8 m/m inflation in January, to cut interest rate in February
By bne IntelliNews February 13, 2018

Inflation in Belarus stood at 0.8% month-on-month in January (4.5% year-on-year), the national statistics agency Belstat reported on February 12.

The National Bank of Belarus (NBB) is going to cut its key refinance rate by 0.5 percentage points (pp) to 10.5% on February 14, following October's cut of the rate to 11%. In early November, the regulator's governor Pavel Kallaur said that the regulator predicts the key refinance rate will be cut to 10% in 2018. The central bank also estimates inflation will be about 6% in 2018.

In November, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that "further space for easing the monetary policy stance would be created by a tighter fiscal stance, lower quasi-fiscal activities, particularly directed lending, and wage increases consistent with productivity growth".

"For the medium term, the authorities should continue to lay the groundwork for the planned transition to inflation targeting, including further development of financial markets, reducing market distortions (specifically fiscal dominance), and further strengthening the NBB’s operational capacity and independence," the IMF said in a statement following the lender's mission visit to the country to conduct the Article IV consultation discussions.

 

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