| GEO Business|
| No change in key rate likely: Monetary Policy today|
| Updated at: 1104 PST, Saturday, March 27, 2010|
LAHORE: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) will hold today a meeting to review the present interest rates, Geo News reported Saturday.
The SBP’s Board of Directors will determine the markup rates for the next two months and any decision in this regard will be taken after reviewing the economic indicators.
The Central Bank’s BoD will also take stock of falling loans for the private sectors, rate of price hike, rupee value, deficit of current accounts and foreign exchange reserves.
Analysts expected the central bank to keep its policy rate unchanged at 12.5 per cent when it sets monetary policy for April and May as inflation still poses a threat on lower foreign inflows.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), which bailed out Pakistan to avert a balance of payments crisis in 2008, has repeatedly urged caution on cutting interest rates.
In its latest statement, the IMF said, “monetary policy will continue to focus primarily on price stability.”
“The State Bank will monitor inflation carefully and if inflation pressures persist, monetary policy will be tightened, as needed.”
At its previous review in January, the central bank kept its policy rate unchanged at 12.5 per cent as it fights to sustain growth and keep inflation in check. Pakistan’s consumer price index rose 13.04 per cent in February from a year ago and was 0.39 per cent over January.