Central Bank of Malaysia Eases Monetary Policy While Bank of Thailand Passes

May 8, 2019

Bank Negara Malaysia’s Overnight Policy Rate was sliced to 3.0%, reversing a 25-basis point hike engineered in January 2018 and restoring the stance that had existed from July 2015 until that change in early 2018. A released statement notes, “there are some signs of tightening of financial conditions. The adjustment to the OPR is therefore intended to preserve the degree of monetary accommodativeness.” Malaysian growth last quarter was just moderate, and the projected growth for 2019 as a whole, a range of 4.3-4.8%, faces downside risks.

In contrast, the last interest rate change in Thailand was a hike done five months ago. That 25-basis point increase to 1.75% was the first increase since August 2011 and the first move of any sort since April 2015. A scheduled review of Bank of Thailand policy completed today passed up the opportunity to change the stance despite revising the growth outlook downward because of slower exports and business investment as well as various external risks. With no change in projected total or core inflation, officials unanimously called the current stance both “accommodative” and “appropriate.”

Copyright 2019, Larry Greenberg. All rights reserved. No secondary distribution without express permission.

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