Central Bank Watch

Central Bank of Norway Keeps 0.50% Interest Rate

March 16, 2017

A 50-basis point interest rate cut in December 2011 followed by five 25-bp reductions from March 2012 to March 2016 depressed Norway’s central bank interest rate from 2.25% to the current 0.50% level. Today’s released new statement projects the rate will stay at this level for more than another year but concedes a higher probability […] More

Bank Indonesia

March 16, 2017

The reverse repo rate, deposit rate, and central bank lending facility rates were held steady as expected in Indonesia at 4.75%, 4.0%, and 5.5% as expected. A released statement projects continuing growth improvement but amid a number of risks that bear watching. Officials during February observed contained inflation, a trade surplus and a rise in the […] More

Bank of Japan Retains Existing Policy

March 16, 2017

After four hours 33 minutes of deliberations on Wednesday and Thursday, the BOJ stuck with all parameters of their policy of “quantitative monetary easing with yield curve control.” QQE was introduced in April 2013 and augmented in October 2014. A negative 0.10% marginal rate on balances held by banks at the BOJ was adopted in […] More

Yellen’s Press Conference

March 15, 2017

Over the hour and twenty minutes between the released FOMC statement with accompanying projections and the end of Chair Janet Yellen’s press conference, the ten-year Treasury yield fell seven basis points and the dollar dropped 0.9% against the yen and 0.6% relative to the euro. On the other hand, the prices of both Comex gold […] More

FOMC Statement & Projections

March 15, 2017

The FOMC hiked its fed funds rate target 25 basis points to 0.74-1.0%. There was a single dissent, Minneapolis Fed President Kashkari, who favored no change. The released statement is similar to the prior one. Business investment was upgraded, and the statement acknowledges that the desired level of inflation has been reached, so the goal […] More

Central Bank of Iceland

March 15, 2017

The seven-day Icelandic deposit rate was left at 5.0%. Reductions of 50 basis points last August and 25 bps in December reversed two increases that had been engineered in August and November of 2015. A statement released today by the monetary policy committee called the stance “tight,” which it is juxtaposed against a 1.9% on-year […] More

National Bank of Serbia

March 14, 2017

Serbian monetary officials retained a 4.0% key interest rate, observing that inflation is hovering near 3.0%, the mid-point of its 1.5-4.5% target range and expected to remain with that corridor. There was a single 25-basis point cut last year in July. Starting in April 2013, the rate was slashed by 275 basis points by yearend, […] More

ECB in No Hurry to Rein in Stimulus

March 9, 2017

The Governing Council made no change in its interest rate structure and reiterated that any move to higher-than-present levels will occur “well after” quantitative stimulus ends. There will be EUR 80 billion of asset purchases this month followed by a pace of EUR 60 billion per month during the last nine months of 2017 or […] More

National Bank of Poland’s Reference Interest Rate Left at 1.5%

March 8, 2017

A released statement following the Monetary Council’s meeting on March 7-8 asserts that a recent considerable rise of total CPI inflation reflects things that are beyond the control of monetary policy. Core inflation is still around zero, implying scant demand pressure and only moderate growth in unit labor costs. The monetary authorities consequently believe that […] More

Australian Official Cash Rate Left Unchanged at 1.50%

March 7, 2017

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s Board retained a record low 1.50% official cash rate at this month’s policy meeting. A released statement is pretty upbeat, observing an improved global economy, quite low inflation with subdued wages, regionally mixed housing market conditions, and higher world commodity prices that are lifting Australian incomes. A gradual rise of […] More