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Romania’s central bank hikes monetary policy rate as expected

Question: Hello - did you see Isarescu commenting on a potential ideal gap between the policy rate and inflation during the Q&A pls?

Answers: Hello, indeed Isarescu touched this topic. But it was about the gap between inflation and money market interest rates [not policy interest rate]. What he clearly said, was that no one should expect the interest rates to rise in line with inflation soon [this would be bankers' wishful thinking, he implied between the lines]. He also mentioned that the [nearly] 2pp between the interest rates and inflation in Europe [euro area] is same in Romania [more or less, with the gap wider in Romania judging by numbers] at this moment. He did not say whether the gap will remain the same, but he implied that the developments in Romania should [and he stressed, in his opinion] converge to the developments in Europe. Both the interest rates and inflation in Romania should converge to same levels as in Europe , he also added. Isarescu also mentioned debates among monetary board's members about the process of normalisation of the monetary policy in Europe -- by normalisation meaning the return to real positive interest rates, sterilisation and monetary transmission mechanism as we know it. It is a process that impacts Romania significantly, he stated, and its dynamics is still unclear. [such normalisation would compress the 2pp gap and in fact, eventually, turn it negative -- our comments here ] In conclusion, the 2pp gap should be regarded as a dynamic target -- likely to follow the developments in the euro area. Because otherwise, combined with the 3.5% y/y yearend conflagration target it would result in 1.5% interest rates at the end of the year [which is unrealistic]. The bottom line: Isarescu's comments were not about the policy rate, but about the interest rates. whole speech here with the para mentioned starting min45  

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