6 years ago

Bangladesh Bank unveils H1 monetary policy today

Combating inflationary pressure aimed at

Picture used for illustrative purpose only — Collected
Picture used for illustrative purpose only — Collected

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The central bank unveils its first-half (H1) yearly monetary policy today (Tuesday) aiming to achieve maximum economic growth by boosting investments in productive sectors.

Bangladesh Bank (BB) governor Fazle Kabir will announce the monetary policy statement (MPS) in the morning for July-December period of the fiscal year (FY), 2018-19.

The policy will help real sectors achieve sustainable economic growth while fighting inflation.

Officials said the central bank has formulated the growth-supportive monetary policy giving top priority to investment through increasing credit flow, especially in the real economic sectors.

They also said the BB will facilitate credit flow to the productive sectors for achieving 7.8 per cent GDP (gross domestic product) growth by the end of this fiscal.

The central bank has prepared the policy blueprint considering the upward trend in prices of petroleum products in the global market, and possible rising inflationary pressure, they explained.

"We may take cautious policy stance to curb inflationary pursuers building up on the economy ahead of the national elections," a senior BB official told the FE without elaborating.

Meanwhile, the inflation as measured by consumers' price index (CPI) rose to 5.78 per cent in the FY'18 on annual average basis from 5.44 per cent a year ago, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) data.

Food inflation stood at 7.13 per cent in the FY'18 as compared to 6.02 per cent in the previous fiscal.

The government had set the inflation target at 5.6 per cent for the FY'19.

In the policy document, the BB will also give emphasis on boosting loans for small and medium enterprises (SME) and agriculture along with microcredit to create employment opportunities across the country, the official added.

Meanwhile, private sector credit growth exceeded the target, set by the central bank earlier, in June despite a declining trend in recent months.

The growth in credit flow to the private sector dived to 16.95 per cent in June 2018 on a year-on-year basis from 17.60 per cent a month ago.

It was 15.66 per cent in June 2017, the BB data showed.

The central bank in its outgoing monetary policy had set a target for the private sector credit growth at 16.80 per cent at the end of June, 2018.

"The private sector credit growth will be fixed for H1 of the FY'19, considering the achievement of the growth with containing the inflationary pressure on the economy," another central banker told the FE earlier.

Existing liquidity situation, movement of stock market and exchange rate position will be included in the MPS, according to the BB officials.

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