UPDATE 2-Polish c.bank sees almost no chance of change in rates, Sieci reports

(Adds comment on second term)

WARSAW, March 14 (Reuters) – The chances of a change in Polish interest rates are almost zero, the central bank governor said in comments published on Sunday, but businesses could face negative rates in the future if the COVID-19 pandemic continues for a long time.

Poland’s main interest rate has been at a record low of 0.1% since May, and governor Adam Glapinski ruled out rate hikes earlier this month, despite the central bank raising its inflation projections.

“So far they are not needed at all,” Glapinski said of negative rates in an excerpt of an interview that will be published in full in the conservative weekly Sieci on Monday.

“But for businesses such a possibility exists, if there is a risk of deflation, if it turns out that the epidemic continues for years, more lockdowns are necessary,” he said, adding that individual bank clients would not face negative rates.

Asked about the chances of a change in interest rates, Glapinski said they were “almost zero”.

“But if there is a risk of excessive inflation or deflation – we will react. For now, we are far from both,” he added.

Glapinski said inflation was low and in line with the central bank’s target of 2.5% plus or minus one percentage point. “Such inflation is beneficial for economic development,” he said.

The central bank governor also said he intended to run for a second term in office when his current term ends in 2022.

“I would like to emphasise now that two terms of office are a natural period in institutions that require a certain follow-up, where it takes time to accelerate certain actions … I hope to continue our work for Poland and Poles in the coming years,” he said.

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