Bloomberg News

Polish President to Appoint New Member of Rate Council Today (1)

December 20, 2013

Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski will today appoint Jerzy Osiatynski, his senior economic adviser, to fill a vacant seat on the central bank’s Monetary Policy Council.

The Presidential Office will announce the appointment at noon in Warsaw, Presidential Minister Olgierd Dziekonski said by phone today. Osiatynski, Poland’s finance minister in 1992-1993 and a former World Bank consultant, will join the 10-person rate panel for a full six-year term, replacing Zyta Gilowska, who resigned in October. Osiatynski didn’t answer calls to his mobile phone.

Policy makers reiterated this month that interest rates may remain at a record low beyond mid-2014 to help energize a recovery in the European Union’s largest eastern economy. The council led by Governor Marek Belka cut borrowing costs by 2.25 percentage points between November and July as economy slowed to the weakest pace in more than a decade, while inflation has held below the central bank’s 2.5 percent target for 11 months.

“The decision won’t impact market expectations on interest rates,” Jaroslaw Janecki, chief economist for Poland at Societe Generale SA, said by phone from Warsaw. “Osiatynski will support softer monetary policy than Gilowska, which is also expected by the market.”

The zloty traded at 4.1599 per euro at 9:30 a.m. in Warsaw, 0.1 percent weaker than yesterday, when it appreciated to its strongest since Nov. 7. Yields on the government’s two-year bonds fell one basis point to 3 percent.

‘Full Employment’

Osiatynski sees “ensuring full employment” as “a major issue and a key challenge” for Poland, according to an interview with Krytyka Polityczna website in August 2013.

He edited the collected writings of Michal Kalecki, a Polish economist whose work on the role of investment in economic cycles anticipated John Maynard Keynes’s analysis in “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money,” published in 1933.

“Keeping rates steady as long as possible would be highly desirable,” Osiatynski said in a Nov. 27 interview with the state news service PAP.

In July, he backed the government’s decision to lift a 50 percent safeguard threshold on the ratio of public debt to gross domestic product, making it possible to widen this year’s budget deficit. The economy would “almost grind to a halt” if “radical” spending cuts were applied, according to his comments for Krytyka Polityczna.

The Polish central bank was the only one in the EU to raise rates in May last year before embarking on its easing cycle. The rate panel will hold its next rate meeting on Jan. 7-8.

“Osiatynski will bring an extensive economic and political experience,” central banker Elzbieta Chojna-Duch said today in an interview with TVN CNBC. “Room for moves on Polish interest rates is limited next year.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Dorota Bartyzel in Warsaw at dbartyzel@bloomberg.net; Konrad Krasuski in Warsaw at kkrasuski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net


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