(Adds quotes, details)
By Pawel Sobczak and Marcin Goettig
WARSAW, March 8 Poland's central bank is set to
keep interest rates unchanged this year or even longer unless
inflation accelerates significantly, the bank's governor Adam
Glapinski said on Wednesday.
Speaking after the bank held its key rate at a record low of
1.50 percent, Glapinski reiterated that inflation will probably
ease slightly at the turn of the year and later stabilise.
"If current tendencies are maintained then until the end of
this year I see no reason to think about changing the level of
interest rates," Glapinski told a news conference after the rate
The central bank's new forecasts showed it currently saw
inflation at a range of 1.6-2.5 percent in 2017, up from 0.5-2.0
percent in the last forecast in November. The new forecast also
showed inflation at 0.9-2.9 percent in 2018.
The central bank targets inflation at 2.5 percent with a
fluctuation band of 1.5-3.5 percent.
Price growth accelerated to 1.8 percent in January and
economists polled by Reuters expect it to reach 2.1 percent in
February, pushing inflation-adjusted rates into negative
"The situation may change if there are some unexpected
events. For example, the results of elections in France or
Germany and oil prices may change something here," Glapinski
said, referring to the current wait-and-see stance.
"If we see that there is some tendency during a few quarters
that there has begun some process of accelerating inflation or
inflation remaining at a heightened level then we will react. So
far we do not see this happening," he said.
Glapinski signalled that rates could remain unchanged even
beyond the end of 2017.
"There would be no reason to increase rates in this period
that I am talking about ... until actually the end of next year.
But I would not go that far of course," he said.
Analysts polled by Reuters expect that the 10-member
rate-setting Monetary Policy Council (MPC) will keep rates
stable until a hike in early 2018.
"All in all, we believe ... that the MPC will not rush with
monetary tightening unless there is a very strong surprise on
the side of inflation tendencies," BZ WBK bank said in a note.
(Reporting by Pawel Sobczak, Pawel Florkiewicz, Marcin Goettig
and Bartosz Chmielewski, editing by Ed Osmond; Writing by Marcin