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On March 15 the refinance rate will be brought down to 15% per annum

The Board of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus took a decision to bring down on March 15, 2017 the refinance rate from 16% to 15%, the interest rates on standing and bilateral transactions designed to maintain banks’ current liquidity – from 20% to 18% per annum, as well as the rates on standing liquidity absorption transactions – from 11% to 10% per annum.

Further reduction of interest rates in the current year was possible due to the slowing down of inflation, as well as the favourable trends in the foreign exchange and deposit markets.

Inflation is further reduced and is slowing down by the more considerable rates than the earlier expected ones. According to the updated assessment, the growth of consumer prices in February-April 2017 will not exceed 8% per annum.

The trend towards slowing down of inflation was intensified due to the strengthening of the Belarusian ruble in January-February 2017 as a result of the considerable excess of foreign exchange supply over demand for it in the domestic foreign exchange market. Net supply of foreign exchange was, mainly, due to sale of foreign exchange by households on the background of the balancing of the economic entities’ transactions.

The current monetary conditions are the key inflation constraining factor. The average broad money supply grew by 1% (excluding the change in ruble equivalent of the foreign exchange component of money supply) in February 2017 versus February 2016.

The fovourable dynamics of the households’ deposits in Belarusian rubles is still in place in the deposit market, having regard to the attractive level of their profitability in real terms.

Further slowing down of inflation processes, as well as continuation of favourable trends in the foreign exchange and deposit markets, will make it possible to preserve the focusing of the interest rate policy on reduction of interest rates in the economy.