The BoE also launched a new Term Funding Scheme to provide funds to banks at interest rates close to the policy rate, aimed at ensuring that the lower policy rate actually benefits households and businesses. Meanwhile, the BoJ increased its exchange traded fund purchases, while the European Central Bank indicated its readiness to introduce further monetary stimulus, should economic and financial conditions deteriorate significantly.
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In the United States of America, prospects for an interest rate increase by year-end have declined relative to widely held expectations before the referendum. Among the developing economies and economies in transition, several central banks have announced changes to key policy rates. Many cited concerns over a deterioration in global growth prospects following Brexit, with potential adverse spillover effects on domestic macroeconomic conditions going forward. The policy responses were, however, not uniform, with policy rates moving in both directions.
This, in part, reflected differing assessments over the impact of increased external risks on the domestic growth and inflation outlook. Given a weaker outlook for external demand and hence domestic growth prospects, central banks in Malaysia, Mauritius, Serbia and Taiwan Province of China lowered interest rates to support domestic economic activity.
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In contrast, the Central Bank of Mexico raised its policy rate, despite signs of weakening growth. Amid elevated global risk aversion, the move was aimed at preventing a further depreciation of the peso and to contain rising inflation expectations. The swift response of central banks to the referendum results, particularly in affirming their readiness to implement further monetary easing measures, led to further gains in stock and bond markets. Several US equity indices reached all-time highs in July.
The widening divergence between buoyant financial market conditions and weak global economic activity represents a potential downside risk to global growth. In particular, a sharp and disorderly asset price adjustment may increase deleveraging pressures, with adverse implications on aggregate demand. Although more stable than most other private capital flows, migrant remittances have been affected by the slower-than-anticipated expansion of the global economy.
As many developing countries are highly dependent on remittance inflows, trends in these flows have important implications for growth and development prospects of these economies. In Tajikistan, remittances account for over 40 per cent of gross domestic product GDP , while in Bermuda and Nepal, they amount to 23 per cent and 29 per cent of GDP, respectively. In many ways, remittances have a similar economic effect as domestic wages, with both increasing the disposable income of households and private consumption.
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Even when a financial sector is underdeveloped, remittances can support the housing sector such as in Central Asia , facilitate the creation of small or medium-sized businesses and boost spending on education. In addition, remittances have cross-border and balance-ofpayments effects. However, large-scale inflows of remittances may also put upward pressure on the exchange rate and erode export competitiveness. They may also drive up prices of non-tradable goods and spur inflation. Nevertheless, in many cases, remittances remain crucial to alleviating poverty and promoting economic development in many developing regions.
This aggregate global dollar value of remittances masks significant regional variations.
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While remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean grew, they contracted slightly in the Middle East and North Africa, remained relatively stable in sub-Saharan Africa and increased moderately in Asia. At the same time, remittances to the Commonwealth of Independent States CIS area fell sharply, by 20 to 40 per cent in dollar terms. Those trends largely continued in the first two quarters of In Mexico, remittances increased by 8.
In contrast, the contraction in remittances to the CIS continued. Among the factors that have affected recent trends in remittance flows were: economic performance and labour market conditions in remittance-sending countries the Latin America and Caribbean region has benefitted from improving US labour market conditions , commodity prices and exchange rates.
The weaker euro versus the dollar partly explained the decline in dollar value of remittances to the small South-East European economies, where remittances are predominantly sourced from the euro area. The sharp contraction of remittances in the CIS, in turn, reflects the sharp depreciations of the Russian and Kazakh currencies in the second half of , in line with falling oil prices and worsening labour market opportunities for migrants in those countries.
However, fixed exchange rates and countercyclical fiscal spending mitigated the impact of lower oil prices on remittance outflows from several major oil-exporters in the Gulf region. While measuring remittances in US dollar terms provides a convenient basis for international comparison, it does not fully capture balance-of-payments effects or changes in the real purchasing power of their recipients. For instance, the contraction of remittances in the CIS measured in Russian rouble or domestic currency terms was much milder figure 2. This partially mitigated the impact on private consumption, although, after adjusting for inflation, remittances to the CIS still contracted by Looking forward, diverging trends in remittance flows are expected to continue in the near term.
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