NBRM: Economic Outlook Positive, Political Anxiety Remains Main Risk FactorFinance | April 12, 2017, Wednesday @ 18:00| 69 views
Photo: Radovan Vujovic
The Committee on operative monetary policies of the Macedonian Central Bank (NBRM) met on Wednesday and concluded that the economic foundations remain stable, but risks from the political anxiety continue to be pronounced. GDP growth for 2016 of 2.4 percent was in line with NBRM expectations, the central bank informed, and it is expected that the early positive indicators from the first quarter of 2017 will continue in the future.
"Expectations from economic institutions remain relatively stable and their outlook remains positive. Despite the decrease of currency reserves in the first quarter, we continue to see positive movement in the foreign currency markets, and NBRM continued to act with a small net purchase of foreign currency. Forex reserve levels remain adequate," NBRM informed.
Bank deposits remained overall unchanged in the first quarter of 2017. Companies increased their deposits while individual deposits saw a decrease. Seasonally lower currency demand lead to greater bank liquidity.
Also seasonally motivated higher demand for foreign currency prompted banks to have a net sale of hard currency, which they recovered from their own sources, allowing the central bank to maintain a neutral posture.
Total first quarter NBRM interventions amounted to purchasing EUR 2.8 million of foreign currency from the banks, a far cry from the crisis first quarter of 2016, when NBRM sold EUR 17.2 million to the banks. The Operative Committee decided that NBRM should maintain its main interest rate at 3.25 percent.