UPDATE 2-Poland leaves rates flat but says to watch deflation closely

miércoles 14 de enero de 2015 13:12 GYT

* Rate-setters leave key rate unchanged at 2.0 percent

* Cuts not ruled out if deflation persists, growth slows

* Governor, in minority, sees space for rate cut (Updates with central bank comments)

By Pawel Sobczak and Jakub Iglewski

WARSAW, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Poland's central bank left its main interest rate unchanged on Wednesday but signalled that it would be paying closer attention to deflation when deciding whether to cut rates in the next few months.

The bank's governor, Marek Belka, said he thought there was room for a rate cut. But as at previous sittings of the bank's rate-setting council, he appears to have been unable to persuade a majority of his colleagues to back him.

Poland's economy, the largest in central Europe, grew an estimated 3.4 percent last year. That is enviable by the standards of its European Union peers. But the picture is clouded by consumer prices falling late last year at their sharpest rate in three decades.

Falling world oil prices have added to deflationary pressures, which can stifle economic growth as consumers defer spending in the hope that prices fall more.

The bank's 10-member Monetary Policy Council issued a statement saying it did not rule out a rate cut if deflation persists or the economy slows.   Continuación...