As the new year gets underway, more central banks have joined in the monetary policy easing spree. Since the start of 2015, there have been more than 20 central banks cutting interest rates in both developed and emerging markets. The Bank of Thailand was the latest central bank to attempt to stimulate its country’s economy by lowering its policy rate by 0.25% to 1.75%.
Benign inflation caused by declining oil prices has partly allowed for this global easing bias. However, bucking the trend more recently, is Brazil (hiking rates by 0.5% to 12.75%) and Ukraine (raising rates by 10.5% to 30%!). Both countries raised their policy rates in an effort to curb spiralling inflation and plunging currencies.