Month: December 2013
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
Australia Central Bank holds Interest rate, repeats Austrailian Dollar “uncomfortably high” – Central Bank News
2nd December 2013
Australia’s central bank held its benchmark cash rate steady at 2.50 percent, as expected, and repeated that the Australian dollar remains “uncomfortable high” and a “lower level of the exchange rate is likely to be needed to achieve balanced growth in the economy.”
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), which has cut its cash rate 50 basis points this year and by 225 points since embarking on its easing cycle in November 2011, also repeated last month’s view that sentiment in households and businesses had improved “but it is still unclear how persistent this will be” and public spending was forecast to be quite weak.
The impact of the RBA’s rate cuts since late 2011 have supported spending on interest-sensitive items and asset values, but “the full effects of these decisions are still coming through, and will be for a while yet,” the RBA said.
Australia’s economy has been hit by lower investment in the huge mining industry from reduced demand from China and the central bank said economic growth and high unemployment is likely to persist in the near term as the economy adjusts to these lower levels of mining investment.
Last month the RBA reduced its 2014 growth estimate to between 2 percent and 3 percent from its August forecast of 2.5 to 3.5 percent. The growth estimate for 2013 was trimmed in August to 2.25 percent from an earlier 2.50 percent. In 2012 the economy grew by 3.7 percent.
In the second quarter, Australia’s Gross Domestic Product expanded by 0.6 percent from the first for annual growth of 2.6 percent, up from 2.5 percent in the first but down from 3.1 percent in the fourth.
The central bank has been openly expressing its wish for a lower Australian dollar – known as the Aussie – for months and in November the RBA sharpened its language and described the currency’s level as “uncomfortably high” whereas it had previously just said the Aussie was “high.”
After trading above parity to the U.S dollar most of the time since early 2011 and then through the first four months of the year, the Aussie weakened in early May in response to the RBA’s first rate cut.
But it then rebounded in September and October in light of improving economic data. But it resumed its decline in early November and was trading around $0.90 today, down 13.5 percent from the beginning of the year.
Two weeks ago Glenn Stevens, RBA governor, said he was “open-minded” on whether to intervene in foreign exchange markets and push down the Aussie. But a few days later, the RBA’s deputy governor dampened speculation that the reserve bank was ready to intervene, saying the threshold for intervening was “fairly high.” The last time the RBA intervened in currency markets was in late 2008 following the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
Australia’s inflation rate eased to 2.2 percent in the third quarter from 2.4 percent and the RBA said this was consistent with its medium-term target and it expects this to remain the case over the next one to two years. The RBA targets 2-3 percent inflation
for more details log on to Reserve Bank of Australia website : http://www.rba.gov.au/
29th November 2013
Zambia’s central bank held its policy rate steady at 9.75 percent, saying an expected increase in inflationary pressures in December are likely to be moderated by the central bank’s tight policy stance.
“Hence, after weighing the inflationary risks, the Committee decided to sustain the current relatively right monetary monetary policy stance and maintain the Bank of Zambia policy rate at 9.75%,” the central bank said.
Zambia’s inflation rate rose slightly to 7.0 percent in November from 6.9 percent in October, above the central bank’s 6.0 percent target for the year, but in line with the bank’s expectations.
The central bank raised its rate by a total of 50 basis points in June and July.
Inflationary pressures are expected to emanate from the lagged effects of the recent depreciation of the kwacha’s exchange rate coupled with higher seasonal demand for some consumer products as the holiday season approaches and a seasonal increase in the prices of maize grain and mealie meal, the Bank of Zambia said.
Like many other emerging market currencies, the kwacha fell in late May through early July but then rebounded and rose until the end of October. It then dropped by 5 percent to 5.58 per U.S. dollar on Nov. 10 from late October. Earlier today it was trading at 5.50 to the dollar.
Last week an official at the central bank said a drop in the kwacha to near its weakest levels in 4-1/2 years was temporary and it was set to rebound.
Emmanuel Pamu, financial markets director at the central bank told Bloomberg that the kwacha would be in an equilibrium at a rate of 5.30 to 5.40 to the dollar
for more details log on to Bank of Zambia website : http://www.boz.zm/
28th November 2013
Albania’s central bank cut its benchmark repurchase rate by another 25 basis points to 3.25 percent to help stimulate economic growth and meet the bank’s inflation target amid fiscal tightening.
The Bank of Albania, which has cut its rate by 75 basis points this year, said it expects inflationary pressures to remain weak due to low demand-side pressures as the Albanian economy continues to operate below its potential.
“Economic growth its expected to remain weak and not generate inflationary pressures,” the bank said after meeting of its supervisory council on Nov. 27.
Albania’s headline inflation rate was stable at 1.7 percent in October and September, below the central bank’s target of end-year inflation of 3.0 percent, plus/minus one percentage point.
Albania’s Gross Domestic Product expanded by 1.0 percent in the second quarter from the first quarter for annual growth of 1.1 percent, down from 1.8 percent in the first quarter.
The central bank said the government’s fiscal stimulus faded significantly in the third quarter and high levels of public debt is limiting the ability of fiscal policy to support economic activity.
Next year the fiscal contraction is expected to continue, and while this will influence economic activity, lower public borrowing should also make more room for higher private sector borrowing.
“Given the expected direction for the next fiscal year, this action aims to maintain macroeconomic stimulus in the economy and create more favorable conditions for meeting our inflation target,” the bank said, adding it considers “fiscal correction in the next year is necessary to restore the public debt to more sustainable parameters.”
Demand for credit in Albania is low with credit to the private sector down by 2.6 percent at the end of September compared with last year and the banking system has adopted a conservative approach to lending in response to the growth of bad loans on their balance sheets and tighter policies imposed by parent banks
for more details log on to Bank of Albania website : http://www.bankofalbania.org/web/Welcome_to_Bank_of_Albania_webpage_5186_2.php?kc=0,0,0,0,0