The refinancing rate of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB) was reduced from 17% to 16% per annum on February 15, the NBRB Information and PR Office reported.
Apart from that, the interest rate on standing and bilateral operations designed to keep up the current liquidity of Belarusian banks was reduced from 22% to 20% per annum. The NBRB representatives explained that the decisions had been taken by the board and the monetary policy committee of the National Bank on the basis of the consumer prices growth forecast, the situation on the currency and deposit markets, the country’s foreign trade and balance of payments.
“The country’s inflation keeps slowing down. The increase in consumer prices in December 2016 made up 10.6% against December 2015 (the forecast of 12%) and is expected to reach some 9.6% in January and about 9% in February-March,” the NBRB representatives said.
The monetary factors continue to exert the major influence on the inflation. In January the average broad money supply grew by 0.3% in comparison with January 2016, which corresponds to the evolving macroeconomic conditions. The domestic currency market is characterized by the net foreign currency supply, mainly due to the sale of foreign currency by individuals.
“In the business segment the currency supply and demand are balanced reflecting the trends in foreign trade. In general, these factors create the conditions for stability of the exchange rate of the Belarusian ruble. On the domestic deposit market, retail ruble-denominated deposits continue increasing. The share of new irrevocable deposits is growing in the structure of deposits,” the central bank said, adding that on the back of the expected slowdown of inflation the reduction of the refinancing rate and interest rates on operations designed to keep up the current liquidity of Belarusian banks would not lead to their considerable change in real terms. This will help keep bank deposits in the national currency at the sustainable and attractive level. The refinancing rate was last revised downward from 18% to 17% per annum on January 18. (BelTA/Business World Magazine)