Polish c.bank governor says no decision on ending rate-hike cycle

By Anna Koper

WARSAW, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Poland's Monetary Policy Council (MPC) has made no decision about ending its tightening cycle, the central bank governor said on Thursday, as he reiterated that the series of rate hikes was paused rather than definitively finished.

Wednesday's decision to leave the main interest rate unchanged at 6.75% was the third time in a row the MPC has decided to hold fire, and markets had been looking for signals that talk of further hikes was off the table for good.

"We are still on hold," central bank governor Adam Glapinski told a news conference. "The Council... did not discuss whether to end the rate-hike cycle or not."

He said that in the MPC's opinion the current level of interest rates was "optimal".

Glapinski said he expected inflation would start to fall in March or April after rising at the beginning of 2023.

In November, inflation fell to 17.4% year-on-year from 17.9% the previous month, according to statistics office data.

Glapinski said that he hoped the central bank's next set of inflation projections, to be published in March, would point to inflation fading away.

"I hope that... we will be convinced that finally we are in a lasting decline in inflation," he said. "Then there will for sure be such a discussion in the Council.. whether to end the rate-hike cycle."

Analysts polled by Reuters expect rates to stay on hold until the end of 2023, but Glapinski would not be drawn on when he thought borrowing costs could start to fall.
Reporting by Alan Charlish, Anna Koper, Pawel Florkiewicz, Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk; Editing by Alison Williams and Elaine Hardcastle

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