Month: December 2013
12th December 2013
Indonesia’s central bank held its benchmark BI rate steady at 7.50 percent but will remain “watchful of the planned tapering policy by the Federal Reserve and will bolster the ongoing policy response.”
Bank Indonesia (BI), which has raised its rates five times this year by 175 basis points to curb inflation, also said its current stance was “consistent with ongoing efforts to bring inflation back towards the target corridor of 4.5+-1% in 2014 as well as to reduce the current account deficit to a more sustainable and sound level.”
The bank said there was evidence that Indonesia’s balance of payments would improve further in the final quarter due to a narrower current account deficit and inflows of capital that continue to offset this deficit. Foreign exchange reserves at the end of November were US$ 97.0 billion, steady from October.
In October Indonesia’s trade balance showed a surplus of US$42 million while the current account deficit narrowed slightly to $8.449 billion in the third quarter from the second quarter’s $9.954 billion.
The current account deficit is one of the main reasons that Indonesia has been vulnerable to capital outflows and downward pressure on its rupiah as global investors prepare for higher growth in advanced economies, including the United States.
“Looking forward, Bank Indonesia will continue to monitor a range of risks, including global economic uncertainty that could rapidly mushroom,” the bank said.
This year’s slowdown, which the BI said was “congruent” to its efforts to bring growth onto a more sustainable level, is expected be line with the bank’s forecast this year for growth of 5.5-5.9 percent.
For 2014 BI revised down its growth forecast to the lower end of its 5.8-6.2 percent range. In 2012 Indonesia’s economy expanded by 6.2 percent.
In the third quarter, Indonesia’s Gross Domestic Product grew by 2.96 percent from the second quarter for annual growth of 5.62 percent, down from 5.81 percent.
“Looking ahead, Bank Indonesia will continue to maintain rupiah exchange rate stability in line with its fundamentals, thereby supporting controlled economic consolidation,” the bank said.
The bank also said it had deepened rupiah and foreign exchange markets through “mini
Master Repo agreements between a number of banks and broadened the scope of medium and long-term hedging swaps between these banks and the central bank, another in a series of initiatives to bolster trading in rupiah markets.
Indonesia’s inflation rate stabilized at 8.37 percent in November from October’s 8.32 percent and BI projects 2013 inflation on average to remain below 8.5 percent – below the BI’s forecast from last month – and repeated that it expects this to drop to within the banks target corridor in 2014.
In 2012, Indonesia’s inflation rate was 4.3 percent but a scrapping of fuel subsidies and the fall in the rupiah has accelerated the rate.
Botswana Central Bank cuts Interest rate 50 bps, inflation likely to fall further – Central Bank News
10th December 2013
Botswana’s central bank cut its bank rate by 50 basis points to 7.50 percent, saying inflation is set to remain within the bank’s target range and “the current state of the economy, in which unemployment remains high alongside below-trend economic activity, suggests scope for monetary policy easing to stimulate stronger output growth.”
The Bank of Botswana has now cut rates four times this year for a total reduction of 200 basis points in sync with a decline in inflation since a 2013-high of 7.6 percent in March.
In October inflation dropped to 4.8 percent from September’s 5.0 percent and within the bank’s target of 3-6 percent.
“Weak domestic demand and the forecast benign external price developments contribute to the positive inflation outlook in the medium term, with the likelihood of a further fall in inflation in the short term,” the central bank said.
The bank cautioned, however, that this outlook could be negatively affected by large increases in administered prices and government levies, along with higher-than-forecast international food prices.
Botswana’s Gross Domestic Product expanded by an annual 7.9 percent in the second quarter, up from 3.3 percent in the first quarter but the bank said non-mining GDP is expected to remain below potential in the medium term and generate minimal inflationary pressures.
The central bank said it expects commercial banks to adjust their own interest rates to reflect its rate cut and in order “to protect the interest of depositors, banks are required to offer and publish a 91-day deposit or equivalent deposit product which pays and interest rate that is at least 350 basis points (3.5 percentage points) below the prevailing bank rate.”
At the current bank rate of 7.5 percent, this 91-day deposit rate should be a minimum of 4 percent, with higher interest rates for longer deposits, the bank said
for more details log on to Bank of Botswana website : http://www.bankofbotswana.bw/
5th December 2013
Norway’s central bank held its policy rate steady at 1.5 percent and said growth prospects had weakened recently which implies “that the key policy rate should be held at the current level in the period to summer 2015 and be increased gradually thereafter.”
“The increase in the key policy rate is now forecast to occur one year later than projected in September,” Norges Bank Deputy Governor Jan Qvigstad said in a statement.
In September the central bank forecast that rates would be maintained at the current level until the summer of 2014 and then gradually raised. But last month the bank dropped this guidance, saying any rise in interest rates among key trading partners had been pushed further in the future.
Norges Bank, which last cut its rate in March 2012, said inflation had been lower than expected in the past two months, growth will be lower than forecast, house prices had declined and wage growth may be somewhat lower than projected.
On the other hand, the Norwegian krone currency had depreciated considerably.
“On balance, there are prospects that consumer price inflation will be somewhat lower than previously projected,” Qvigstad said.
In its latest monetary policy report, Norges Bank forecast that inflation would average 2.25 percent this year, unchanged from its September report, but next year inflation is forecast at 2.0 percent, down from 2.25 percent. The 2015 inflation forecast is unchanged at 2.0 percent.
The country’s economy is forecast to expand by 1.75 percent this year, unchanged from the previous forecast, and then expand by 2.0 percent in 2014, down from 2.25 percent. In 2015 the economy is forecast to grow by 2.50 percent, down from 2.75 percent.
The central bank also forecast that its policy rate would remain at its current level of 1.5 percent in 2014, down from its previous forecast of 1.75 percent, and then rise to an average 1.75 percent in 2015 compared with its September forecast of 2.0 percent. In 2016 the policy rate is forecast to average 2.0 percent, down from 2.5 percent.
“At its meeting, the Executive Board decided that they key policy rate should be in the interval 1%-2% in the period to the publication of the next report on 27 March 2014, unless the Norwegian economy is exposed to new major shocks,” the bank said.
Norway’s krone currency rose steadily against the euro from 2009 but then started to depreciate early this year and fell further following today’s policy decision. It was trading at 8.40 krone to the euro today, down 12 percent since the end of 2012.
The central bank also said it had issued advice on the so-called “countercyclical buffer” for banks and this would be published when the finance ministry had made its decision.
Banks will be asked to build up a buffer, or an extra cushion of capital reserves, that they can draw on during hard economic times.
Norges Bank decided in March to introduce the buffer, part of the guidelines issued by the Basel Committee for Banking Supervision, but then decided in September to delay imposing it as banks are already facing higher capital ratios
for more details log on to Norges Bank website : http://www.norges-bank.no/en/
UK Central Bank maintains Bank rate of 0.50% and QE of 375 billion pounds in the 1st week of December
5th December 2013
The Bank of England (BOE) maintained its bank rate at 0.5 percent, as widely expected, along with its target for asset purchases worth 375 billion pounds.
The BOE has held its bank rate steady since March 2009 and the last change in the size of its asset purchase program – known as quantitative easing (QE) – was in July 2012 when the target was raised by 50 billion pounds to the current level of 375 billion.
In August the BOE adopted the forward guidance that it would not raise rates at least until the unemployment rate fall to 7.0 percent and is ready to expand its purchase of assets, such as bonds issued by the U.K. government, while unemployment is above 7 percent.
In its latest inflation report from November the BOE said there was a 40 percent chance of this jobless threshold being reached at the end of 2014 and a 60 percent change of its being reached by the end of 2015 or 2016.
The UK unemployment rate fell to 7.6 percent in September from 7.7 percent in August while inflation fell to a year-low of 2.2 percent in October from 2.7 percent in September and August.
The UK’s Gross Domestic Product rose by 0.8 percent in the third quarter from the second quarter for annual growth of 1.50 percent, the third consecutive quarter of accelerating growth
for more details log on to Bank of England website : http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/Pages/home.aspx
3rd December 2013
Uganda’s central bank cut its central bank rate (CBR) by 50 basis points to 11.5 percent, saying an an accommodative stance was warranted due to an expected stabilization of core inflation around the bank’s target and the need to further support private sector investment.
The surprise rate cut comes a month after the Bank of Uganda (BoU) described its stance as neutral and a warning in October that it could raise rates if core inflation were to accelerate. The BoU raised its rate by 100 basis points in September.
The central bank said it would continue to assess global economic and financial developments and “take appropriate actions to maintain future average annual core inflation around the Bank’s medium-term target of 5 percent.”
Uganda’s headline inflation rate fell to 6.8 percent in November from 8.1 percent in October with core inflation easing to 7.0 percent from 7.2 percent. Food crops inflation was a minus 4.3 percent in November, higher than a minus 1.1 percent in October.
The BoU forecast inflation edging further down in the next two to three months due to the impact of the crop harvests to about 5.5-6.5 percent but then rising to 6-7 percent in the second half of 2014.
Although the bank said there were potential risks to inflation from domestic demand pressures and the global economic recovery, it expects core inflation to stabilize around 5 percent in the medium term.
“Real economic activity continues to show signs of recovery, in part boosted by the accommodative policy stance and public investment,” the bank said, adding that growth should benefit from private consumption and investment activity.
“Nonetheless, economic growth remains below potential and downside risks pertaining to the uncertain global economic environment persists,” the BoU added.
for more details log on to Bank of Uganda website : http://www.bou.or.ug/bou/home.html