Taiwan: Central Bank keeps rates unchanged in December
At its monetary policy meeting on 19 December, the Board of Directors of Taiwan’s Central Bank unanimously decided to leave the discount rate unchanged at 1.375%, as expected by market analysts. The discount rate has remained at this level since June 2016.
In its communiqué, the Board highlighted currently muted inflation levels, and commented that price pressures look set to remain mild due to relatively low international oil prices. The Bank thus reduced its inflation forecast to 0.8% for 2020. As such, a rate hike was not warranted. However, the Bank also commented positively on solid domestic demand and a recent pick-up in exports amid trade diversion owing to the U.S.-China dispute, raising its growth projection for 2020 to 2.6% as a result. As such, monetary loosening was not called for either.
In its communiqué, the Bank stated that “a continued accommodative monetary policy stance will help ensure price stability and foster sound development of the economy and the financial sector”. Looking forward, the majority of our panelists envisage rates remaining unchanged through to the end of 2021.
The next monetary policy meeting is set for 19 March.