Rate-setters Point to Impact of Food Prices on Inflation
Image by posztos / Shutterstock.com
Members of the Monetary Council of the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) agreed that food prices would be a driver of increasing inflation in the coming months at a policy meeting in October, according to a report by state news wire MTI.
"Council members agreed that volatile food prices would contribute substantially to the slowing but continued increase in inflation in the coming months," the minutes from the monthly meeting released on Wednesday show.
Several members noted that domestic demand had begun to decline, parallel with a slowdown of the economy since the start of the summer, and, alongside falling global commodity prices, indicated a "turnaround" in domestic inflation. A number of members also said the emerging real interest rate indicates a "moderation in inflation".
Members agreed that Hungary's current-account balance bottomed out in September and was expected to show "gradual improvement". They highlighted that the continuous surplus in non-energy items, together with energy consumption and price adjustments, suggested that the pace of that improvement "might be faster than earlier expected".
The council discussed and approved the formal framework for implementing the MNB's earlier voiced commitment to cover foreign exchange liquidity needs for energy import payments until the end of the year. Several members stressed that the balance on the FX market might be preserved by providing less FX liquidity than earlier expected, because of the drop in European energy prices and the increasing adjustment of domestic demand for energy.
The council voted unanimously to keep the central bank base rate at 13% at the meeting on October 25, the minutes show. Governor György Matolcsy was absent from the meeting.
MNB rate-setters had signaled an end to the tightening cycle at their monthly policy meeting in September, but said tight monetary conditions would be maintained with a focus on sterilizing liquidity and improving monetary policy transmission. On October 14, the policymakers announced a decision to launch O/N deposit tenders on a daily basis. The central bank has offered the liquidity sterilization instrument at a rate of 18%.
SUPPORT THE BUDAPEST BUSINESS JOURNAL
Producing journalism that is worthy of the name is a costly business. For 27 years, the publishers, editors and reporters of the Budapest Business Journal have striven to bring you business news that works, information that you can trust, that is factual, accurate and presented without fear or favor.
Newspaper organizations across the globe have struggled to find a business model that allows them to continue to excel, without compromising their ability to perform. Most recently, some have experimented with the idea of involving their most important stakeholders, their readers.
We would like to offer that same opportunity to our readers. We would like to invite you to help us deliver the quality business journalism you require. Hit our Support the BBJ button and you can choose the how much and how often you send us your contributions.