MNB governor: March inflation report to determine rate path


The National Bank of Hungary's (MNB) Monetary Council will take a decision on whether or not to keep rates on hold based on the central bank's next inflation report, due in March, MNB governor György Matolcsy told MTI on the sidelines of a conference yesterday.

The Monetary Council will hold its next rate-setting meeting on February 24.

The rate-setters wound up a two-year easing cycle last July and have suggested the base rate could stay on hold till the end of 2015. But analysts say the Monetary Council could start easing again in the spring because of deflation in Europe, lower fuel prices and the start of asset purchases by the European Central Bank (ECB) in March.

Speaking at the same conference, MNB managing director for monetary policy Dániel Palotai said deflation in Hungary was "of a technical nature". He added that consumer prices would start rising again from the second half of this year even without any monetary policy intervention.

All in all, there is no deflationary environment in Hungary, he said, noting that wage growth was over 4%.

If the big central banks continue their quantitative easing, there will be more room for manoeuvre for Hungarian monetary policy, he added.


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