28 January 2011

Extractions from BNM monetary policy statement

As expected, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) decided to maintain the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) at 2.75% yesterday. This was the 3rd time in a row that BNM left it unchanged. Are there any hints by BNM on Malaysia's economy this year? We can explore the "hidden messages" from the monetary policy statement as below:

Regional Front:
  • While advanced economies continue to register modest growth, most emerging economies have experienced strong growth.
  • For Asian region, domestic economic activity continues to support the growth momentum amid weaker external demand.
  • Shifts in global liquidity have resulted in significant capital flows into the emerging economies, in particular, Asian region, and have brought with it risks to macroeconomic and financial stability.
  • The region is also being affected by global inflationary pressure arising from the higher commodity and food prices.
On Malaysia:
  • Recent indicators point towards a sustained expansion in private sector activity.
  • External demand, however, was affected by the slower global growth.
  • Malaysian economy is expected to grow at a steady pace in 2011, underpinned by continue firm expansion in domestic demand.
  • Private consumption will be supported by sustained employment and income growth.
  • Private investment activity will be supported by domestic-oriented sectors and the expansion of new growth industries.
 On Inflation:
  • Domestic headline inflation rose towards the end of 2010 albeit remained low at 2.2%.
  • The increased was mainly on account of higher food and energy prices.
  • Prices are expected to increase at a modest pace in the coming months, driven primarily by rising global commodity and food prices.
  • The assessment is that inflation will continue to be driven by supply factors with limited evidence of excess demand exerting pressure on prices.

BNM Conclusions:
  • BNM considers the current monetary policy stance as appropriate and consistent with current assessment of the economic growth and inflation prospects.
  • The stance continues to remain accommodative and supportive of economic growth.
  • Going forward, additional policy tools such as the statutory reserve requirement (SRR) and macro-prudential lending measures may be considered to avoid the risks of macroeconomic and financial imbalances.
Finance Malaysia view:
  • We expected inflation to rise at a faster pace in 2011
  • BNM to continue hiking interest rate in second-half 2011
  • OPR potentially be raised by 50-75 basis points to 3.25-3.50%
  • Bank's loan growth will slow if SRR was raised
Source: BNM website

For full BNM monetary policy statement, click here.

Related posts:
70% Loan to Value
How BNM OPR hiking affecting the market?

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