State Bank decides to hold policy rate steady at 22%

BusinessState Bank decides to hold policy rate steady at 22%

KARACHI, Pakistan: The State Bank of Pakistan’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on Monday decided to hold the policy rate steady at 22 percent.

In approaching today’s decision, the Committee noted that in line with earlier expectations, inflation has begun to decline noticeably from the second half of Fiscal Year 2023-24.

   

The Committee, however, observed that despite the sharp deceleration in February, the level of inflation remains high and its outlook is susceptible to risks amidst elevated inflation expectations. This warrants a cautious approach and requires continuity of the current monetary stance to bring inflation down to the target range of 5 – 7 percent by September 2025.

The Committee reiterated that this assessment is also contingent upon continued targeted fiscal consolidation and timely realization of planned external inflows.

The MPC noted a few key developments since its last meeting which have implications for the macroeconomic outlook.

First, the latest data continues to depict moderate pick-up in economic activity, led by rebound in agriculture output.

Second, the external current account balance is turning out better than anticipated and has helped maintain FX buffers despite weak financial inflows.

Third, while inflation expectations of businesses have shown a steady increase since December, those for consumers have also inched up in March.

Lastly, on the global front while the broader trend in commodity prices remained benign, oil prices have increased; partly reflecting the continued tense situation in the Red Sea.

Moreover, amidst uncertainty regarding the inflation outlook, key central banks in both advanced and emerging economies have continued to maintain a cautious monetary policy stance in recent meetings.

Mati
Mati
Mati-Ullah is the Online Editor For DND. He is the real man to handle the team around the Country and get news from them and provide to you instantly.

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