Bank Negara maintains OPR at 1.75% at March MPC meeting


  • Banking
  • Thursday, 03 Mar 2022

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara has maintained its overnight policy rate (OPR) at 1.75%, in line with the consensus expectation of economists surveyed in a Bloomberg poll.

The interest rate has stayed at an all-time low of 1.75% since July 7, 2020, after it was cut from 2% to provide additional policy stimulus in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement, Bank Negara said its monetary policy committee considers the current stance to be appropriate and accommodative.

"Fiscal and financial measures will continue to provide support to economic activity.

"Amid the prevailing uncertainties, the stance of monetary policy will continue to be determined by new data and their implications on the overall outlook for domestic inflation and growth," it said.

The central bank added that headline inflation in 2022 is projected to remain moderate as the base effect from fuel inflation continues to dissipate.

Underlying inflation as measured by core inflation, it said, is expected to normalise to around its long-term average as economic activity continues to pick up amid the environment of high input costs.

"Nevertheless, core inflation is expected to be modest, with the upside risk partly contained by the continued slack in the economy and labour market.

"The inflation outlook continues to be subject to global commodity price developments amid risks from prolonged supply-related disruptions," it said.

Bank Negara noted that the overall recovery trajectory in the global economy remains on track with elevated inflation in many economies due to both demand and supply factors.

Further, the transition of more countries to endemic management of Covid-19 will support global growth prospects.

However, Bank Negara said risks to the growth outlook remain tilted to the downside due to external and domestic factors.

These include weaker-than-expected global growth, ongoing geopolitical conflicts, worsening supply chain disruptions, and developments surrounding Covid-19.

"The unfolding developments surrounding the military conflict in Ukraine, however, have emerged as a key risk to global growth and trade prospects, commodity prices and financial market conditions.

"The global growth outlook will also continue to be affected by developments surrounding COVID-19, risks of prolonged global supply disruptions, and heightened financial market volatility amid adjustments in monetary policy in major economies," said Bank Negara.

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Bank Negara , OPR , MPC , monetary policy , interest rate

   

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