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NATIONAL BANK LOWERS BENCHMARK INTEREST RATE TO 2.25 PERCENT.

The National Bank lowered the benchmark interest rate by 0.25 percentage points, from 2.50 to 2.25 percent. The decision was taken Tuesday at the meeting of its Operative Monetary Policy Committee.

Based on the existing economic and financial conditions and existing risks, the Committee said there was room for further relaxation of the monetary policy. The supply of treasury bills at the auction to be held on 13 March has been kept at 25 billion denars, the National Bank said in its statement.

The decision to drive down the benchmark interest rate is a result of the retained continuity of favorable movements in the foreign exchange market, which suggests absence of pressure in the external sector and domestic stability. According to the National Bank, there is also a moderate increase in domestic prices and consequently absence of price pressures.

The National Bank says additional room for further monetary relaxation is created by the European Central Bank's latest statement about the keeping of interest rates at the current level for a longer period of time than earlier expected and about further relaxation through other monetary instruments.

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Title Annotation:BUSINESS NEWS
Publication:INFOMAC Daily News Service
Date:Mar 13, 2019
Words:188
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