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Bank Negara raises OPR to 2.25%

admin2022-11-2314

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OPR rates

PETALING JAYA: The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of Bank Negara has increased the overnight policy rate (OPR) by 25 basis points to 2.25% amid positive growth prospects for the local economy.

“For the Malaysian economy, economic activity continued to strengthen in recent months.

“Exports and retail spending indicators affirm the positive growth momentum, supported by the transition to endemicity, “ the central bank said in a statement yesterday.

The ceiling and floor rates of the corridor of the OPR are correspondingly increased to 2.5% and 2%, respectively.

The OPR, which is a benchmark rate that allows banks to determine their lending and deposit rates, had been reduced by a cumulative 125 basis points during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, bringing it to a historic low of 1.75%.

Yesterday’s increase was a second consecutive one after a 25-basis-point hike in May, which was also the first time the OPR was raised since the onset of the pandemic.

OCBC Bank economist Wellian Wiranto said the fact that the central bank had not gone more “ballistic” with a 50-basis-point hike yesterday speaks of a “heavy preference for a gingerly approach in tightening.”

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OCBC Bank economist Wellian Wiranto said the fact that the central bank had not gone more “ballistic” with a 50-basis-point hike yesterday speaks of a “heavy preference for a gingerly approach in tightening.”

“That is a prudent thing, given how global recession fears are on the rise,” he said.

Going forward, he said he expects at least one more 25-basis-point hike this year that will be seen as a further normalisation of policy rate rather than outright tightening.

“It might then pause in the last meeting of the year in November to assess the balance between inflation and recession risks before undertaking any action thereafter,“ he added.

In its statement, the central bank said the extent of upward pressures on inflation will remain partly contained by existing price controls, fuel subsidies and the continued spare capacity in the economy.

“The inflation outlook continues to be subject to global commodity price developments, arising mainly from the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine and prolonged supply- related disruptions, as well as domestic policy measures,“ it said.

Year-to-date, headline inflation averaged 2.4%.

In its statement, the central bank said the extent of upward pressures on inflation will remain partly contained by existing price controls, fuel subsidies and the continued spare capacity in the economy.

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