Central Bank Interest Rates

The purpose of this page is to disclose, in a centralized location, the current interest rates set by each the following central banks: the Federal Reserve System, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Swiss National Bank, the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and the Bank of Japan.

On this page, I will also be sharing my forecasts on where interest rates are headed for each of the central banks. Now that you have an understanding on what this page is about, lets get into it.

*Please note, the contents of this page will be constantly updated, so be sure to visit frequently (2-3 times a quarter).
***I recommend that you bookmark this page.***

Table of Contents

The Federal Reserve System
The European Central Bank
The Bank of Canada
The Bank of England
The Swiss National Bank
The Reserve Bank of Australia
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand
The Bank of Japan



~The Federal Reserve System~

The Federal Reserve Logo

United States Of America Flag

The Federal Reserve’s interest rate: 0 – 0.25%
Interest rate trend: flat
The Federal Reserve calls its interest rate the Federal Funds Rate.
The Federal Reserve’s Mandate:
Price stability & to promote maximum employment. (Dual mandate)

Inflation Rate (as of 11/2012):
0.6% in September 2012; month over month.
2.0% in September 2012: year over year.

Unchanged in April 2012; month over month.
2.3% in April 2012; year over year.
2.9% in previous month (FEB); year over year.

0.4% in February 2012; month over month.
2.9% in February 2012; year over year.
Unchanged in previous month; year over year.

0% in December 2011; month over month.
3% in December 2011; year over year.
Declined from 3.4% in previous month; year over year.

Inflation rate trend: n/a

Unemployment Rate (as of 11/2012):
7.9% in October 2012.
7.8% in September 2012.
Unemployment rate is still slowly declining.
Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 171,000 in October 2012

8.1% in April 2012.
8.2 in March 2012.
Unemployment rate is slowly declining.
Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 115,000 in April 2012.

8.3% in February 2012.
Unchanged in January 2012.
Unemployment rate is unchanged and looking stable.
Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 227,000 in February 2012.

8.3% in January 2012.
Down from 8.5% in December 2011.
Unemployment rate continuing to trend down further.
Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 243,000 in January 2012.
Visit the United States Employment post for more information.

Overall monetary policy is:
Extremely expansionary and accommodative

Interest Rate Forecast: I feel that the Federal Reserve System will leave interest rates at its current levels, which is 0 – 0.25%, until mid 2015.

To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee expects that a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy will remain appropriate for a considerable time after the economic recovery strengthens. In particular, the Committee also decided today to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and currently anticipates that exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate are likely to be warranted at least through mid-2015.

Federal Reserve Monetary Policy 2012 Press Release, October 24, 2012

My outlook regarding monetary policy will remain dovish/bearish.
This section was last reviewed for relevance on: 11/10/2012

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~The European Central Bank~

ECB LOGO

European Union Flag

The European Central Bank’s interest rate: 0.75%
Interest rate trend: bearish
The European Central Bank calls its interest rate the
Main Refinancing Operations Rate (Fixed)

The European Central Bank’s Mandate:
Price stability. (No inflation target)

Inflation Rate (as of 5/2012):
0.5% in April 2012 month over month in Euro area.
2.6% in April 2012 year over year in Euro area.
That’s down from 2.7% in March 2012, year over year.
Inflation rate trend: flat (YoY)

0.3% in December 2011 month over month in Euro area.
2.7% in December 2011 year over year in Euro area.
Down from 3% in previous month year over year.
Inflation rate trend: down

Unemployment Rate (as of 5/2012):
10.9% in March 2012 in the Euro Area.
That’s higher from 10.8% in February 2012.
From February to March 2012, 169,000 persons became unemployed.
Unemployment rate is trending upward (Big time).
Visit the Euro Area Employment post for more information.

10.4% in December 2011 in the Euro Area.
That’s unchanged compared to the previous month.
From November to December 2011, 20,000 persons became unemployed.
Unemployment rate is trending upward.

Overall monetary policy is:
Expansionary and accommodative –
Room for more accommodation available

Interest Rate Forecast: The European Central Bank has cut its interest rate down to 0.75%, the lowest in history. If the economic situation in the Eurozone continues to deteriorate, more interest rate cuts will be on the radar.

This section was last reviewed for relevance on: 7/15/2012

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~The Bank of Canada~

The Bank of Canada Logo

Canada Flag

The Bank of Canada’s interest rate: 1.00%
Interest rate trend: neutral
The Bank of Canada calls its interest rate the Target for Overnight Rate.
The Bank of Canada’s Mandate:
Price stability (Inflation target: near 2% [the mid-point of a 1-3% range])

Inflation Rate (as of 5/2012):
2.0% in April 2012; year over year.
Increased from 1.9% in previous month; year over year.
Inflation rate trend: flat

2.3% in December 2011; year over year.
Declined from 2.9% in previous month; year over year.

Unemployment Rate (as of 5/2012):
7.3% in April 2012
That’s down from 7.4% in March 2012.
Unemployment rate edged up due to an increased participation rate.
Employment increased by 58,000 in April 2012; month over month.
Employment increased by 214,000 or 1.2% in April 2012; year over year

7.6% in January 2012
That’s up from 7.5% in December 2011.
Unemployment rate edged up due to an increased participation rate.
Employment was roughly the same during January 2012; mo. over mo.
Employment rose by 18,000 in December 2011; month over month.
Employment rose by 129,000 or 0.7% in January 2012; year over year

Retail Sales (as of 5/2012):
In March 2012, retail sales increased by 0.4% to $39.1 billion.

Overall monetary policy is:
Expansionary and accommodative

Interest Rate Forecast: What the Bank of Canada will do in the next 6 months is uncertain. The Canadian economy is moving along just fine. Employment is increasing at a good pace, inflation is flat and sitting right in line with the BOC’s inflation target and retail sales in growing. Things seems in order. If inflation starts to increase then the Bank of Canada can and should tighten policy. There isn’t any reason why they shouldn’t. If inflation and or employment rates start declining, then the Bank of Canada should consider loosing monetary policies. Anything can happen in Canada regarding monetary policy; it appears that the Bank of Canada can do what it needs to do freely without any major collateral damage or conflicting pressures.

This section was last reviewed for relevance on: 5/25/2012

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~The Bank of England~

Bank of England Logo

UK Flag

The Bank of England’s interest rate: 0.50%
Interest rate trend: neutral
The Bank of England calls its interest rate the Bank Rate.
The Bank of England’s Mandate:
Price stability (Inflation target: 2%)

Inflation Rate (as of 5/2012):
3.0% in April 2012 year over year.
Declined from 3.5% in previous month year over year.
The inflation rate in the United Kingdom is still a full percentage above the Bank of England’s inflation target; but at least the inflation rate is trending downward.
Inflation rate trend: down

4.2% in December 2011 year over year.
Declined from 4.8% in previous month year over year.

Unemployment Rate (as of 5/2012):
8.2% in the January – March quarter of 2012.
The unemployment rate is down 0.2% from the last quarter.
Number of unemployed people is declined by 45,000 on the quarter.
Visit the United Kingdom Employment post for more information.

8.4% in the September – November quarter of 2011.
The unemployment rate has not been higher since 1995.
Number of unemployed people is up 118,000 on the quarter.

Quantitative Easing:
Additional quantitative easing is a huge possibility.

Also known as the ‘asset purchase programme’ -the BOE will create
£275 billion pounds of additional money by the end of 1/2012.

Overall monetary policy is:
Extremely expansionary and extremely accommodative
Money supply rapidly growing

Interest Rate Forecast:With the labor market still extremely weak, the unemployment rate just off record highs and the inflation rate trending downward, I don’t see the Bank of England tightening policies in the next couple of months. In fact, the opposite may occur. The BOE’s Monetary Policy Committee is actually considering executing additional quantitative easing to help stimulate the United Kingdom’s economy even further. Due to the fact that the MPC is having a serious discussion of loosing policies even more, I don’t see the BOE raising interest rates any time soon.

This section was last reviewed for relevance on: 5/26/2012

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~The Swiss National Bank~

The Swiss National Bank Logo

Switzerland Flag

The Swiss National Bank’s interest rate: 0 – 0.25%
Interest rate trend: down
The Swiss National Bank calls its interest rate the 3-month LIBOR.
The Swiss National Bank’s Mandate:
Price stability (inflation target: at or less than 2%; without deflation)

Inflation Rate (as of 5/2012):
-1.0% in April 2012 year over year. (DEFLATIONARY)
March 2012 inflation contracted by -1.0% YoY. (DEFLATIONARY)
Inflation rate trend: flat

-0.7% in December 2011 year over year. (DEFLATIONARY)
Declined from -0.5% in previous month year over year. (DEFLATIONARY)

Unemployment Rate (as of 5/2012):
4.1% in 4th quarter of 2011.
That’s down from 4.2% when compared to 3rd quarter 2011 year over year.
Number of employed persons rose by 2.6% in 4rd quarter 2011.
Visit the Switzerland Employment post for more information.

4.2% in 3rd quarter of 2011.
That’s down from 4.6% when compared to 2nd quarter 2011 year over year.
Number of employed persons rose 2.2% in 3rd quarter 2011.

Swiss Franc Cap
The Swiss National Bank instituted a cap on the value of the Swiss franc in order to prevent economic catastrophe. The SNB will no longer tolerate an exchange rate of 1.20 or lower for the EUR/CHF currency pair. An extremely powerful expansionary monetary policy.

Overall monetary policy is:
Extremely expansionary and extremely accommodative

Interest Rate Forecast: The Swiss National Bank will not raise interest rates anytime soon. The Swiss franc is greatly overvalued, deflationary pressures are starting to show its ugly head and Swiss exports are slowing. I am absolutely dovish on monetary policy for the Switzerland, now and probably for the rest of 2012.

This section was last reviewed for relevance on: 5/23/2012

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~The Reserve Bank of Australia~

Reserve Bank of Australia LOGO

Australia Flag

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s interest rate: 3.75%
Interest rate trend: strong down
The Reserve Bank of Australia calls its interest rate the Cash Rate.
The Reserve Bank of Australia’s Mandate:
Price stability & the maintenance of full employment in Australia
Inflation target is 2-3% year over year on average.

Inflation Rate (as of 5/2012):
0.1% change in the March quarter 2012; quarter over quarter.
1.6% change in the March quarter 2012; year over year.
Inflation rate trend: down

0% change in the December quarter 2011; quarter over quarter.
3.1% change in the December quarter 2011; year over year.
2.6% [median] change in the December quarter 2011; year over year.

Unemployment Rate (as of 5/2011):
4.9% in April 2012. That’s unchanged year over year.
The unemployment rate declined from 5.2% to 4.9% in
April 2012 month over month.
Visit the Australia Employment post for more information.

6.4% in December 2011. That’s up 0.3% year over year.
The unemployment rate was unchanged in
December 2011 month over month.

Overall monetary policy is:
…becoming more and more expansionary. The Reserve Bank of Australia has been consistently cutting rates.

Interest Rate Forecast: The Reserve Bank of Australia has cut rates by .5% in May 2012 and because of that, I see rates staying stable in the next couple of months. If inflationary pressures remain subdued during those next couple of months and the Australian economy starts to weaken, more cuts may be on the way sometime this year.

This section was last reviewed for relevance on: 5/21/2012

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~The Reserve Bank of New Zealand~

Reserve Bank of New Zealand Logo

New Zealand Flag

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s interest rate: 2.50%
Interest rate trend: flat
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand calls its interest rate the
Official Cash Rate (OCR)

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s Mandate:
Price stability (Inflation target: 1 – 3% on average over the medium term.)

Inflation Rate (as of 5/2012):
0.5% in March quarter 2012 compared to previous quarter.
1.6% in March quarter 2012 compared to last year.
Inflation rate trend: down

-0.3% in December quarter 2011 compared to previous quarter.
1.8% in December quarter 2011 compared to last year.

Unemployment Rate (as of 5/2012):
6.7% in March quarter 2012 which is
an increase of 0.3% since December quarter 2012.
Unemployment rate increased by 0.1%
in March quarter 2012 compared to the previous year.
Unemployment rate is increasing very slightly due to an increase in the participation rate.
Visit the New Zealand Employment post for more information.

6.6% in September quarter 2011 which is
an increase of 0.1% since June quarter 2011.
Unemployment rate increased by 0.2%
in September quarter 2011 compared to the previous year.
Unemployment rate is slowing trending upward.

Overall monetary policy is:
Expansionary and accommodative –
Interest rates were cut prematurely due to natural disasters


Interest Rate Forecast: I feel that the monetary policy set by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand is currently acceptable and I don’t believe that interest rates will decline any further in the foreseeable future. I am actually somewhat bullish/hawkish on interest rates for New Zealand. But due to the European debt crisis and the gradual fall of inflationary pressures, I will admit that the likelihood of interest rate increases are unlikely in the next couple of months.

This section was last reviewed for relevance on: 5/21/2012

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~The Bank of Japan~

The Bank of Japan Logo

Japanese Flag

The Bank of Japan’s interest rate: 0 – 0.10%
Interest rate trend: super flat
The Bank of Japan calls its interest rate the
Targeted Uncollateralized Overnight Call Rate.

The Bank of Japan’s Mandate:
Price stability.
Inflation Rate (as of 1/2012):
0% change in December 2011; month over month.
-0.2% in December 2011; year over year. (DEFLATIONARY)
Inflation rate trend: down

Unemployment Rate (as of 12/2011):
4.5% in November 2011.
Employment increased by 0.1% in November 2011; year over year.
Unemployment rate decreased by 11.9% in November 2011; year over year.
Unemployment rate is trending downward.

Quantitative Easing:
The BOJ has 55 trillion yen outstanding in its asset purchase program.

Overall monetary policy is:
Extremely expansionary and extremely accommodative
The most loose monetary policy of all major central banks

Interest Rate Forecast: I don’t see Japan raising rates anytime soon due to deflationary pressures, the negative economic impact of the earthquake that occurred last year and suppressed global confidence. I have and willing continue to remain dovish/bearish on the monetary policy implemented by the Bank of Japan.

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