The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) will likely meet at its upcoming meeting to decide on the key policy rate, and the market anticipates a possible rate increase of up to 300 basis points.

According to the analysts contacted by the Brecorder, the SBP is likely to increase the rate from its current historic high of 22 per cent. As per the advance calendar issued in July, the SBP is currently slated to hold its MPC meeting on September 14.

Notably, the central bank has previously taken the initiative to declare changes in its key policy rate through ’emergency’ meetings, similar to what occurred in June.

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Market speculation hints that the central bank might adopt a more patient approach this time, making an emergency meeting less probable.

 Tahir Abbas, the Head of Research at Arif Habib Limited (AHL), foresees a rate hike ranging between 100 and 150 basis points.

He emphasised, the inflation rate is projected to remain elevated not only in August but also in the upcoming months. Furthermore, the persistent depreciation of the currency might compel the SBP to push interest rates upwards.

Abbas added, “We expect a policy rate hike of around 100-150 bps.”

In a previous report, AHL stated that headline inflation is expected to climb higher in August, surpassing the 28.3 per cent figure recorded in July 2023.