Central Bank Watch

Central Bank Rate Cuts in Mexico and Albania

March 25, 2020

Given the flurry of inter-meeting central bank interest rate cuts during the Covid-19 pandemic, some moves have slipped initially under the radar. The Bank of Mexico overnight interbank rate had been already cut by 150 basis points since last August. At an emergency Governing Board meeting last Friday, the policy rate was sliced by a […] More

Shock and Awe from the Federal Reserve Meets a Skeptical Market

March 23, 2020

A series of statements released today at 12:00 GMT and prior to the North American start of trading represent an extraordinary array of quantitative monetary stimulus (QE) that is likely to surpass the size employed during the Great Recession. The intent is forestall an evaporation of financial market liquidity, to ensure that companies otherwise sound […] More

Bank of Russia

March 20, 2020

The Bank of Russia had previously lowered its key interest rate from 7.75% prior to June 2019 to 6.0% after a 25-basis point cut in February. However, this easing cycle had to be put on indefinite pause this month because a tumbling ruble is likely to raise inflation above the 4% target in coming months. […] More

Bank of Norway

March 20, 2020

the Bank of Norway, which had cut its policy rate to 1.0% from 1.5% on March 12, cut such again on the 19th after an unscheduled meeting to 0.25%, asserting simply that “the situation in the Norwegian economy has continued to worsen” in the past week. The reduction a week ago had been the first […] More

ECB Doing Whatever It Takes

March 20, 2020

The European Central Bank created a new Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program, which to start totals EUR 750 billion on top of the EUR 120 billion of incremental quantitative stimulus announced after the scheduled Governing Council meeting earlier this month. Together these actions represent 7.3% of GDP in the common currency area. More will be forthcoming […] More

South African Repo Rate Slashed 100 Basis Points

March 19, 2020

The latest and largest rate cut today has been a 100-basis point reduction in the South Africa Reserve Bank’s repo rate to 5.25%. This follows a 25-basis point cut in January and an initial 25-bp cut in July 2019. The repo rate had been as high as 7% from March 2016 through July 2017. Ahead […] More

Filipino Monetary Easing

March 19, 2020

At Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the policy interest rate of the Philippines was cut to 3.25% today from 3.75%. That increment of reduction doubles the previous easing done in February and brings the total cut since May 2019 to 125 basis points.  Inflation is firmly anchored within the central bank target of 2-4% according to […] More

Another Indonesian Interest Rate Cut

March 19, 2020

Officials at Bank Indonesia reduced the 7-day reverse repo rate by 25 basis points to 4.5%. There was also a 25-basis point cut in February and a full percentage point of reduction in four moves during the second half of last year. Taken together all but 25 basis points of the 175-bp of tightening in […] More

Taiwanese Interest Rate Cut Exceed Expectations

March 19, 2020

The Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan) reduced its discount rate by a greater-than-anticipated 25 basis points to 1.125%. This was the rates first change since a cut of 12.5% in June 2016. Officials also established a special loan facility for small and medium-sized enterprises. The coronavirus will be a big growth depressant […] More

Swiss National Bank to Be Vigilant with Intervention to Contain Franc Strength

March 19, 2020

The Swiss National Bank‘s sight deposit rate of negative 0.75% since January 2015 was retained at that central bank’s quarterly policy review, and officials characterized the franc as even more overvalued than before, which will necessitate more intense intervention in the FX market. Extra steps are being taken to ensure ample liquidity. Officials do not […] More