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Poland Says May Inflation Was 4.8-4.9% Under Old Methodology

Poland’s May inflation rate, which jumped to the highest in almost a decade, was boosted “insignificantly” by a methodological change, the Central Statistical Office said.

Under the old methodology, the rate would have been 0.1 to 0.2 percentage points lower than the 5 percent reported on June 15, said Artur Satora, the office’s spokesman, in an interview in Warsaw. The new methodology was introduced in January to comply with European Union standards, increasing the weight of items vulnerable to seasonal price changes, he said.

“So, as we can see, the new methodology changed the rate only insignificantly upward,” Satora said.

The Narodowy Bank Polski raised its benchmark seven-day rate by a quarter percentage point to 4.5 percent on June 8, the fourth increase this year, to curb inflation that has remained above its 2.5 percent target since October.

While central bankers including Governor Marek Belka rushed to reassure markets they wouldn’t react hastily to the numbers, policy maker Andrzej Kazmierczak said in a June 17 interview that monetary tightening may extend into next year.

“I had expected May inflation at 4.7 percent,” Kazmierczak said in the interview. “The May CPI was probably this year’s peak and the inflation rate will decline in the coming months, but at a much slower pace than we thought. I’m determined to continue monetary-policy tightening, and the May inflation data only strengthened my determination to do so.”

Last month’s inflation accelerated from 4.5 percent in April, the statistics office in Warsaw said June 15. The rate exceeded the 4.6 percent median estimate of 28 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

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