News & Analysis: Monetary policy

Towards a new paradigm in the COVID-19 era

“The central bank in each respective country must start to facilitate this process of metamorphosis, which is required now, more than ever before—again because of the devastating short- and medium-term impact of COVID-19, which is still ongoing.”

via BFT Online

Bank of Uganda keeps policy rate unchanged at 7 percent for April

“Uganda’s Central Bank kept its benchmark policy rate unchanged at seven percent Wednesday in a strategic move that promises stable lending rates amidst increased credit default levels and renewed strength in the value of the Uganda shilling against the US dollar.”

via The East African

Sovereign Debt: A Critical Challenge

“Today, the earlier fear of a dangerous lack of liquidity has been replaced in large part by concerns about the ability of the international financial architecture to support countries with increasing levels of debt and uncertain access to capital. One worrisome aspect seems clear: Many countries will require debt relief in the next few years if they are to maintain or restore access to financial flows. Higher interest rates in advanced economies, and the United States in particular, could compound the difficulties of emerging market countries in servicing existing debt and refinancing maturing debt.”

via Bretton Woods Committee

Yellen warns that slow vaccine rollout in poor countries poses threat to U.S., global economies

“Yellen called on richer countries to step up both economic and public health assistance to poorer nations reeling from COVID-19. She noted as many as 150 million people across the world risk falling into extreme poverty as a result of the crisis.”

via Washington Post

How China Lends: A Rare Look into 100 Debt Contracts with Foreign Governments

“China is the world’s largest official creditor, but we lack basic facts about the terms and conditions of its lending. Very few contracts between Chinese lenders and their government borrowers have ever been published or studied. This paper is the first systematic analysis of the legal terms of China’s foreign lending.”

via Aid Data, CGD, Kiel Institute, and PIIE

South African central bank bucks emerging-market trend and holds rates

“South Africa’s central bank has kept its main interest rate at a historic low of 3.5 per cent, breaking with emerging-market peers that have increased rates following this year’s surge in US Treasury yields.”

via Financial Times

African Economic Outlook 2021

“The pandemic has caused a global economic crisis. Africa’s GDP contracted 2.1 percent in 2020, the continent’s first recession in half a century. It is estimated that about 39 million Africans could fall into extreme poverty in 2021 if appropriate support is not provided, with disproportionate effects on women.”

via AfDB

Bank of Zambia hikes rates 50bps to curb ‘currency rout’ induced inflation, in COVID-19 environment

“Amidst a currency depreciation induced cost push inflationary environment, the Monetary Policy Committee decided to raise the interest rate whose quantum was nonetheless hampered by a suppressed business ecosystem fueled by disease pandemic effects.”

via The Business Telegraph

Morocco made good monetary and fiscal choices in the face of COVID-19, IMF Chief says

“Morocco made ‘good choices’ in terms of monetary and fiscal policy in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, who highlighted the very strong partnership between the international financial institution and the Kingdom.”

via The North Africa Post

Comparative Study of Policy Responses to COVID-19 in LICs in Africa

“Pre-pandemic economic challenges, such as limited fiscal space, high debt levels and inflation, have also contributed to countries’ weak economic responses. External financing has been crucial for LICs’ ability to respond to the pandemic, but, is still inadequate given the huge financial gap that exists.”

via SAIIA