Belka to Respond to Critics in Address to Polish Senate

Poland’s central bank Governor Marek Belka will address the nation’s Senate today amid growing criticism that monetary policy makers didn’t start cutting interest rates soon enough to help the slowing economy.

Belka will deliver a speech after 2 p.m. in Warsaw on “anti-crisis measures” taken by the central bank and answer lawmakers’ questions, according to Aleksandra Leicht, the upper house’s spokeswoman. It will be his first official appearance in parliament since July and since the central bank began lowering borrowing costs in November to spur the ailing economy.

Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski has said the economy’s weak performance is partly due to “mistakes” in monetary policy as rate cuts came “too late.” Prime Minister Donald Tusk on Jan. 25 appealed to the Monetary Policy Council to take “quick” decisions that will “help the economy.”

Poland’s central bank was the only one in the European Union to raise rates in 2012 and began its easing cycle a year later than the European Central Bank and five months after the Czech Republic.

Polish gross domestic product grew 2 percent in 2012, the slowest in three years, the Central Statistical Office said yesterday. GDP growth may ease further to 1.7 percent in 2013, the median of 31 estimates in a Bloomberg survey shows.

“The government is being increasingly explicit in asking for measures to support growth,” Pasquale Diana, an economist at Morgan Stanley in London, said in a e-mailed report Jan. 25. It’s unclear if “the central bank will deliver more easing or simply reject these calls in the name of independence.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Konrad Krasuski in Warsaw at kkrasuski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David McQuaid at dmcquaid1@bloomberg.net

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