The Monetary Council of the National Bank of Hungary (NBH) decided to keep the central bank O/N deposit rate at -0.05% and the base rate at 0.90% at a monthly policy meeting. The decision was in line with expectations. In a statement released after the meeting, the council said risks to inflation had become asymmetric as downside risks strengthened further because of the slowdown in Europe and a loosening of monetary policy by big central banks. Because of the base effect of a fall in fuel prices last year, headline inflation is “likely to rise again until the end of 2019, and then to stabilise at the level of the 3% inflation target following a gradual decline”, the council said. Core inflation excluding indirect tax effects, a bellwether indicator of underlying inflation which rate-setters follow closely, is expected to “rise slightly” in the coming months “before decreasing to 3% along a lower than previously expected path, due to external disinflationary effects”, the council added.