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Monetary Policy Week In Review – Mar 10-14, 2014: New Zealand Raises Rate As Chile And Thailand Ease Policy

Last week in global monetary policy New Zealand raised its benchmark rate while Thailand and Chile cut their rates, illustrating how central banks are taking out insurance against a further weakening of the global economy from China's slowdown.

But the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's (RBNZ) rate rise also shows that the trend toward lower interest rates that dominated in 2012 and 2013 has effectively ended as the U.S. Federal Reserve's exit from quantitative easing and return to normal monetary policy is transmitted worldwide.

Policy rates have been raised 10 times so far this year, or 10 percent of the 100 policy decisions taken by the 90 central banks followed by Central Bank News, while rates have been cut 13 times in the first 11 weeks of this year. Six of the rate rises were by central banks in emerging markets.

In comparison, policy rates were raised 26 times in the 12 months of 2013, or 5.2 percent of last year's 499 policy decisions. Rates were cut 116 times, or nearly one-fourth of all policy decisions.

The 23 rate changes so far this year have resulted in a net increase of 875 basis points in policy rates with the Global Monetary Policy Rate (GMPR) - the average rate in the 90 central banks - now at 5.55 percent, up from 5.41 percent in December 2013.

New Zealand became the first developed market central bank, not including Denmark, to tighten its policy since July 2011, when the European Central Bank and Sweden's Riksbank raised their rates as a one-year monetary tightening cycle came to an end as the global economy was hit a range of negative shocks, ranging from Japan's Tsunami, political and social unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, the euro zone's shattering sovereign debt crises and political gridlock in the United States.

Denmark's Nationalbank, which raised its rate in January 2013, is unusual for a developed market central bank because its monetary policy is aimed at maintaining a peg to the euro so rate changes typically mirror ECB policy rather than reflect Denmark's economy.




New Zealand 1st developed nation to hike rate since Jul '11


JAPAN DM N/A N/A 0.10%
THAILAND EM 2.00% 2.25% 2.75%
MOZAMBIQUE   8.25% 8.25% 9.50%
INDONESIA EM 7.50% 7.50% 5.75%
NEW ZEALAND DM 2.75% 2.50% 2.50%
SOUTH KOREA EM 2.50% 2.50% 2.75%
CHILE EM 4.00% 4.25% 5.00%
PERU EM 4.00% 4.00% 4.25%
RUSSIA EM 7.00% (NEW) 7.00% (NEW) 8.25% (NASDAQ:OLD)
PAKISTAN FM 10.00% 10.00% 9.50%
Click to enlarge

This week (Week 12) six central banks will be deciding on monetary policy, including Turkey, the United States, Iceland, Switzerland, Mexico and Colombia.

TURKEY EM 18-Mar 10.00% 5.50%
UNITED STATES DM 19-Mar 0.25% 0.25%
ICELAND   19-Mar 6.00% 6.00%
SWITZERLAND DM 20-Mar 0.25% 0.25%
MEXICO EM 21-Mar 3.50% 4.00%
COLOMBIA EM 21-Mar 3.25% 3.25%
Click to enlarge