March 10, 2020 / 1:17 PM / a month ago

No need to change rates over coronavirus -Polish c.banker

WARSAW, March 10 (Reuters) - The coronavirus outbreak should not prompt an interest rate cut or hike, as the central bank should wait to see how the disease affects the economy, Polish rate-setter Lukasz Hardt said on Tuesday.

“I would not raise a motion to raise rates because we have to wait and see ... on the other hand, it’s absolutely not the time to cut rates,” Hardt told reporters on Tuesday.

During the January sitting of the Monetary Policy Council (MPC), Hardt was one of three rate-setters who voted for a rate hike.

Two Polish rate-setters have called for rate-cuts in recent days.

Poland’s benchmark interest rate has been at a record low of 1.5% since the central bank ended an easing cycle in 2015. While there had been calls from some MPC members to hike rates in the face of surging inflation, cuts are now seen as more likely as central banks scramble to deal with coronavirus. (Reporting by Alicja Ptak, Writing by Joanna Plucinska; Editing by Marcin Goclowski)

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