Rate-setters Augur Faster Disinflation in Q2 - Minutes

MNB

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Members of the Monetary Council of the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) agreed that disinflation would speed up in the second quarter of 2023, state news wire MTI reports, citing minutes from a monthly policy meeting in January.

"Regarding the outlook for inflation, Monetary Council members agreed that disinflationary effects were expected to become stronger in the coming months....the council unanimously expected the decline in inflation to pick up in the second quarter of 2023 and to return to the single-digit range by the end of this year before easing back to the [2%-4%] tolerance band in 2024," according to the minutes released on Wednesday.

Several council members noted that lower global commodity prices and weaker electricity and gas consumption point to a slowdown in price growth, and some highlighted the mitigating effect on pricing resulting from the fall in domestic demand as well as a decline in expectations for prices in the retail and services sectors. Many council members indicated that a turnaround in the food market seemed to be underway, and was expected to fully materialize in the spring months.

Members decided to raise the mandatory reserve ratio from 5% to 10%, launch auctions for discount bills on a weekly basis, and hold regular tenders for long-term deposits "to further enhance the effectiveness of monetary policy transmission" at the meeting on January 24.

The minutes show the council voted unanimously to keep the central bank base rate at 13%.

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