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Financial News: Hungary Interest Rates Remain Unchanged

Hungary Interest Rates Remain Unchanged

06/20/2017 - 08:45:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Hungary's central bank on Tuesday held its key interest rate steady at a record low for a thirteenth consecutive month as inflation remains well below the bank's 3 percent target.

The Monetary Council of the Magyar Nemzeti Bank left the base rate unchanged at 0.90 percent, in line with economists' expectations.

Capital Economics' economist William Jackson expects the bank to retain its extremely dovish stance while attention elsewhere in Central Europe is turning to the timing and pace of interest rate hikes.

"Hungary's MPC is likely to stick to an extremely-dovish tone in today's post-meeting press statement," Jackson said.

"Indeed, it seems likely that the Council will also announce tweaks later today to its unconventional policy toolkit that could ease monetary conditions a little."

The bank had cut the key rate by 15 basis points in March last year, which was the first reduction in eight months. Similar size cuts were repeated in April and May last year.

The overnight deposit rate, which was lowered to negative last year, was unchanged at -0.05 percent.

The overnight collateralized loan rate was also kept unchanged at 0.90 percent. The rate was last trimmed in November when it was cut by 15 basis points.

The one-week lending rate was also held steady at 0.90 percent. The rate was previously reduced by 10 basis points in November.

First quarter growth was revised up to 4.2 percent from 4.1 percent this month. The latest rate of expansion was the sharpest since second quarter of 2014.

Inflation eased for a third straight month in May, dropping to 2.1 percent from a recent high of 2.9 percent.

The headline rate looks on course to meet the bank's 2.5 percent forecast for the year as a whole, Jackson said.

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