(Adds more quotes and background)
WARSAW, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Polish central bank governor Adam Glapinski was quoted as saying on Monday that he would not be surprised if interest rates, presently at 1.5 percent, were raised in the first half of 2019 or if they stay unchanged.
This month Glapinski said after a Monetary Policy Council sitting that rates in Poland may stay unchanged until the end of 2018 or even longer, as inflation is benign despite fast economic growth.
“When it comes to next year, I will not comment in a firm way. I would not be surprised if even until mid-2019 interest rates would stay at the present level, similarly I would not be surprised if it would be necessary to hike them,” Glapinski told Dziennik Gazeta Prawna daily in an excerpt from an interview that is to be released on Tuesday.
“I would be very surprised if it would be necessary to cut rates ... Stability is a value, but I would not hesitate to change rates if it is necessary,” he also said.
Despite gross domestic product rising at an annual rate of around 4.5 percent in the whole 2017, Poland’s inflation stood in December at 2.1 percent. The central bank’s target is 2.5 percent plus or minus one percentage point.
Glapinski also said that he would prefer Poland’s GDP rising by 3 percent in the longer term rather than hitting 8 percent like Romania last year with a risk of a significant slowdown.
“So when it comes to growth in Poland, I‘m not afraid about this and next year,” he said. (Reporting by Pawel Florkiewicz and Marcin Goclowski; editing by Ralph Boulton)