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Financial News: Serbia CB Holds Key Rate Unchanged Sixth Time

Serbia CB Holds Key Rate Unchanged Sixth Time

10/08/2018 - 09:26:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Serbia's central bank held its key interest rate steady in October for a sixth consecutive policy session.

The Executive Board voted to keep the key policy rate on hold, at 3 percent, the National Bank of Serbia said in a statement.

The rate was reduced by a quarter-point each in both March and April.

The bank expects inflation to continue to move within its tolerance band of 3 plus or minus 1.5 percent in the next two years.

Inflation was 2.6 percent in August and the core figure that excludes volatile prices was 1.1 percent. Policymakers also expect economic growth to exceed 4 percent this year, driven by investment that will underpin the robust manufacturing exports. That said, "caution in monetary policy conduct is still mandated, primarily because of developments abroad", the Executive Board assessed.

"Nevertheless, the Executive Board points out that the resilience of our economy to potential negative effects from the international environment has increased, owing to improved macroeconomic fundamentals and overall prospects," the bank added. The next policy session is scheduled for November 8. ING Bank expects the NBS to maintain its current policy stance for the rest of the year.

"A "soft tightening" however by narrowing the standing facilities corridor could be on the table towards the end of the year, followed by firmer liquidity management and eventually hike rates in-sync with the ECB," ING Bank economist Valentin Tataru said ahead of the rate decision announcement.

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