KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Friday announced an increase of 150 basis points to 8.75 percent in its benchmark policy rate in a bid to contain runaway inflation.
In its Friday’s meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to raise the policy rate by 150 basis points to 8.75 percent. This reflected the MPC’s view that since the last meeting, risks related to inflation and the balance of payments have increased while the outlook for growth has continued to improve.
The heightened risks related to inflation and balance of payments stem from both global and domestic factors. Across the world, price pressures from Covid-induced disruptions to supply chains and higher energy prices are proving to be larger and longer-lasting than previously anticipated. In response, central banks have generally begun to tighten monetary policy to keep inflation expectations anchored. In Pakistan too, high import prices have contributed to higher-than-expected CPI, SPI, and core inflation outturns.
At the same time, there are also emerging signs of demand-side pressures on inflation, and inflation expectations of businesses have risen on account of further upside risks from domestic administered prices.