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Factbox - How low can they go? Central bank policy easing in 2015
February 5, 2015 / 4:58 AM / 3 years ago

Factbox - How low can they go? Central bank policy easing in 2015

REUTERS - Barely a month into 2015 and the direction of monetary policy around the world is crystal clear -- no fewer than 17 central banks have eased policy to some extent to counter the deflationary pressures from the collapse in global oil prices.

A visitor speaks to security officers at the building of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in Singapore February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Edgar Su/Files

Below is a chronological list of the central banks’ actions:

Jan. 1 UZBEKISTAN

Uzbekistan’s central bank cuts its refinancing rate to 9 percent from 10 percent.

Jan. 7/Feb. 4 ROMANIA

Romania’s central bank cuts its key interest rate by a total of 50 basis points, taking it to a new record low of 2.25 percent. Most analysts polled by Reuters had expected the latest cut.

Jan. 15 SWITZERLAND

The Swiss National Bank stuns markets by scrapping the franc’s three-year-old exchange rate cap to the euro, leading to an unprecedented surge in the currency. This de facto tightening, however, is in part offset by a cut in the interest rate on certain sight deposit account balances by 0.5 percentage points to -0.75 percent.

Jan. 15 INDIA

The Reserve Bank of India surprises markets with a 25 basis point cut in rates to 7.75 percent and signals it could lower them further, amid signs of cooling inflation and growth struggling to recover from its weakest levels since the 1980s.

Jan. 15 EGYPT

Egypt’s central bank makes a surprise 50 basis point cut in its main interest rates, reducing the overnight deposit and lending rates to 8.75 and 9.75 percent, respectively.

Jan. 16 PERU

Peru’s central bank surprises the market with a cut in its benchmark interest rate to 3.25 percent from 3.5 percent after the country posts its worst monthly economic expansion since 2009.

Jan. 20 TURKEY

Turkey’s central bank lowers its main interest rate, but draws heavy criticism from government ministers who say the 50 basis point cut, five months before a parliamentary election, is not enough to support growth.

Jan. 21 CANADA

The Bank of Canada shocks markets by cutting interest rates to 0.75 percent from 1 percent, where it had been since September 2010, ending the longest period of unchanged rates in Canada since 1950.

Jan. 22 EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK

The ECB launches a government bond-buying programme which will pump over a trillion euros into a sagging economy starting in March and running through to September next year, and perhaps beyond.

Jan. 24 PAKISTAN

Pakistan’s central bank cuts its key discount rate to 8.5 percent from 9.5 percent, citing lower inflationary pressure due to falling global oil prices. Central Bank Governor Ashraf Wathra says the new rate will be in place for two months, until the next central bank meeting to discuss further policy.

Jan. 28 SINGAPORE

The Monetary Authority of Singapore unexpectedly eases policy, saying in an unscheduled policy statement that it will reduce the slope of its policy band for the Singapore dollar because the inflation outlook has “shifted significantly” since its last review in October 2014.

Jan. 28 ALBANIA

Albania’s central bank cuts its benchmark interest rate to a record low 2 percent. This follows three rate cuts last year, the most recent in November.

Jan. 30 RUSSIA

Russia’s central bank unexpectedly cuts its one-week minimum auction repo rate by two percentage points to 15 percent, a little over a month after raising it by 6.5 points to 17 percent, as fears of recession mount following the fall in global oil prices and Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

Jan. 19/22/29 DENMARK

The Danish central bank cuts interest rates a remarkable three times in just two weeks, and intervenes regularly in the currency market to keep the crown within its narrow range against the euro.

Feb. 3 AUSTRALIA

The Reserve Bank of Australia cuts its cash rate to an all-time low of 2.25 percent, seeking to spur a sluggish economy while keeping downward pressure on the local dollar.

Feb. 4 CHINA

China’s central bank makes a system-wide cut to bank reserve requirements -- its first in more than two years -- to unleash a flood of liquidity to fight off economic slowdown and looming deflation.

Compiled by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Catherine Evans

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