Central Bank Watch

Comments on Fed Chairman Powell’s Press Conference

September 16, 2020

The fact that two dissents were cast against the forward guidance did not get raised in Q&A until late in the press conference and elicited an unconcerned response from the chairman, who observed 1) that the dissents represented opposite sides of the policy spectrum, 2) that all committee members were in favor of a restructured […] More

FOMC Preview

September 16, 2020

This week’s review of Fed policy is not expected change its settings for interest rates or unconventional stimulus such as asset purchases. This was the last scheduled meeting before the November election. To avoid appearing partisan, the central bank avoids, if at all possible, policy changes this close to a presidential election but as in […] More

ECB Left Policy Settings Unchanged But Risks Tilted to the Downside

September 10, 2020

The deposit, refinancing and marginal lending facility interest rates of the European Central Bank have been left at -0.5%, 0.0%, and 0.25%. It’s been a year since the deposit rate was reduced 10 basis points more deeply into the red. The Governing Council led by Christine Lagarde also retained all of its quantitative policy settings […] More

Central Bank Rate Cut in Uzbekistan

September 10, 2020

Officials at the Central Bank of Uzbekistan cut their refinancing rate by a full percentage point to 14.0%. Previously this year, the rate had also been reduced by 100 basis points in April. Inflation subsided in August to 11.7%, confirming the bank’s belief that such would fall and permitting today’s interest rate cut. Copyright 2020, […] More

Bank of Canada Retains Effective 0.25% Policy Rate Floor and Pledges Continuing Canadian Government Bond Purchases

September 9, 2020

Canada’s overnight interest rates was cut by 50 basis points on three occasions during March to what central bank officials consider an “effective lower bound” of 0.25%. A statement released after this month’s policy review reaffirms the promise to begin raising the short-term interest rate “until economic slack is absorbed so that the 2 percent […] More

Hungary’s Central Bank Rate Left at 0.60%, But Officials Warn of Chance that Covid Delivers a Second Blow

August 25, 2020

There’s little remarkable in today’s Hungarian Monetary Council decision to leave its central bank base rate unchanged at 0.90%. To counter economic damage from the Covid-19 pandemic, officials engineered rate cuts of 15 basis points each at their policy reviews in June and July. Also CPI inflation rose in Hungary to 3.8% last month a […] More

Central Bank Rate Reductions in Namibia and Zambia

August 19, 2020

The Bank of Namibia’s repo rate was reduced by 25 basis points to a record low of 3.75%. This was the fifth cut since February, bringing the total drop since then to 275 basis points. The latest change matches the size of last month’s reduction at the South African Reserve Bank and will help maintain […] More

Another Mexican Central Bank Rate Cut

August 13, 2020

Over the past six months, policymakers at the Bank of Mexico have engineered six interest rate cuts totaling 275 basis points. The last five of these moves including today’s announcement were cuts of 50 basis points, and the overnight interbank interest rate now becomes 4.50%, which is a 3-1/2 year low. This latest easing, according […] More

Romanian and Czech Monetary Policy Reviews

August 6, 2020

The National Bank of Romania enacted its third policy interest rate reduction of 2020. Following up on cuts of 50 basis points in March and 25 bps, the rate was reduced by another 25 basis points to 1.50%. In justifying this step, a released statement states that “given the transmission lags of the lower policy […] More

Central Bank of Brazil Cuts Interest Rate Further as Expected

August 6, 2020

The Brazilian Selic interest rate was sliced another 25 basis points as expected to 2.0%. This was its fifth reduction of 2020, following cuts of 25 basis points in February, 50 bps in March, and 75 basis points each in May and June. The rate has been lowered progressively since the final quarter of 2016 […] More