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SBP keeps policy rate unchanged at 15pc

 SBP keeps policy rate unchanged at 15pc


SBP keeps policy rate unchanged at 15pc

KARACHI (Dunya News) - The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Monday decided to keep the policy rate unchanged at 15 per cent.

According to the press release issued by the SBP, during the meeting which was held today in Karachi, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to maintain the policy rate at 15 percent. The MPC noted the continued deceleration in economic activity as well as the decline in headline inflation and the current account deficit since the last meeting.

It also noted that the recent floods have altered the macroeconomic outlook and a fuller assessment of their impact is underway. Based on currently available information, the MPC was of the view that the existing monetary policy stance strikes an appropriate balance between managing inflation and maintaining growth in the wake of the floods. On the one hand, inflation could be higher and more persistent due to the supply shock to food prices, and it is important to ensure that this additional impetus does not spillover into broader prices in the economy, it stated.

On the other, growth prospects have weakened, which should reduce demand-side pressures and suppress underlying inflation. In light of these offsetting considerations, the MPC considered it prudent to leave monetary policy settings unchanged at this stage, it added.

“Since the last meeting, the MPC noted several key developments. First, the desired moderation in economic activity has become more visible and entrenched, signaling that the tightening measures implemented over the last year are gaining traction,” it further stated.

With growth likely to slow further in the aftermath of the floods, this tightening will need to be carefully calibrated going forward. Second, after peaking in August as expected, headline inflation fell last month due to an administrative cut in electricity prices. However, core inflation continued to drift upwards in both rural and urban areas. Third, the current account and trade deficits narrowed significantly in August and September, respectively, and the Rupee has recouped some of its losses following the recent depreciation.
Fourth, the combined 7th and 8th review under the on-going IMF program was successfully completed on August 29th, releasing a tranche of $1.2 billion.