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NBS leaves key interest rates on hold again

THE NATIONAL Bank of Slovakia (NBS) has left the key interest rates unchanged for the fifth month in a row.

After the regular session of the bank board on September 25, the two-week repo rate remains at 4.25 percent, NBS spokesperson Jana Kováčová told the SITA newswire. The overnight rate for refinancing operations stays at 5.75 percent, and the overnight rate for draining excess market liquidity remains at 2.25 percent.

Macroeconomic development in Slovakia is not significantly different from the central bank's prognoses, which is the main reason the bank decided to keep interest rates on hold in September. NBS Governor Ivan Šramko said after the bank board meeting that inflation has been developing according to expectations, the trade balance deficit has been decreasing year-on-year as predicted, and economic growth figures have remained healthy.

The central bank now plans to focus on food and service prices, which reported accelerated growth in August.

"If these developments continue, mainly with regard to food prices as a result of global demand for some commodities, one of the risks for increased inflation that has been identified could materialise, which would be subject to an analysis in next month's quarterly forecast," Šramko said.

The key interest rates have stayed the same since cuts in March and April - the first since February 2005.

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