A further reduction in the refinance rate may be considered in September, Nadzeya Yermakova, head of the National Bank of Belarus (NBB), told reporters in Minsk on Thursday.
According to Ms. Yermakova, the refinance rate will most likely continue to be gradually lowered. "The pace at which it will be lowered may be 0.5 percentage points because the refinance rate depends on inflation," she said. "According to estimates, in the first 10 days of August, the inflation rate was one percent. So we see that it is better not to lower the refinance rate now. We will see at the end of the month what the inflation rate is in the first 20 days of the month."
Since it has been decided to raise the prices of utility services, transport fares and food prices, inflation will accelerate in August, Ms. Yermakova noted. "That is why we may consider lowering the refinance rate in September, or we may keep it as it is now. We’ll calculate all this," she said, adding that the most important thing is to keep the national currency stable. The forecast predicting a refinance rate of 20 to 23 at the end of the year remains in force, Ms. Yermakova said. "We are in line with this forecast and will be if nothing really extraordinary happens. The only question is in which month we will meet it," she said.
On August 15, the NBB lowered the refinance rate from 31 to 30.5 percent.
Earlier this year, the NBB reduced the refinance rate six times: from 45 to 43 percent on February 15, to 38 percent on March 1, to 36 percent on April 2, to 34 percent on May 16, to 32 percent on June 20, and to 31 percent on July 18.