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By Marcin Goettig
WARSAW, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Poland's central bank is likely to maintain its current wait-and-see stance until the end of the year, rate-setter Grazyna Ancyparowicz said on Wednesday, adding rate hikes may be needed afterwards.
She also said that if a rising trend in inflation is sustained, tightening monetary policy will be needed before inflation reaches inflation target's upper bound of 3.5 percent.
Her comments or rates support current expectations of analysts polled by Reuters that the central bank will begin a rate hike cycle in early 2018 and echo recent statements of the central bank governor.
"The risk of exceeding the inflation target is small, but if a rising trend in inflation is sustained for a longer period of time, delicate corrections in the level of basic rates will be necessary ... before inflation reaches the upper bound of the inflation target," she told Reuters.
"In light of available data, this may take place not earlier than at the turn of this and next year, given that the economy does not experience shocks," she said.
The Polish central bank targets inflation at 2.5 percent with a symmetrical 1 percentage point fluctuation band.
Inflation accelerated to 1.8 percent in January and analysts polled by Reuters see it hovering below 2 percent until the end of the year.
"Currently, everything indicates that the 'wait-and-see' strategy of the Monetary Policy Council will last for a few more months, most likely until the end of the year," Ancyparowicz said.
The central bank's rate-setting MPC has kept the benchmark rate unchanged at a record low of 1.5 percent since a 50 basis point cut in March 2015. (Reporting by Marcin Goettig)