Chile’s central bank lowered interest rates to record lows today. This
is the country’s latest effort to stimulate a slowing economy which is
heavily dependent on global prices and demand for its commodity
Not good news for a country like Chile. Copper demand (its primary
commodity export) looks set to slow in the upcoming months as demand
from China wanes, which until recently had been stockpiling resources.
This seems to be over and now one of Chile’s primary buyers is
sitting on mountains of unused copper. Once again, not good for
Chile, Peru or any other countries that sell their metals to China.
The currency slipped 1.1 percent to 552.65 per U.S. dollar at 9:15
a.m. New York time, from 546.85 yesterday.
The central bank said in May and June that traders were overestimating
the future path of interest rates. Now it will offer banks six-month
loans that match the new overnight rate of 0.5 percent and cut sales
of its own debt to push yields lower.
“It is necessary to increase monetary stimulus,” the bank said in
yesterday’s statement. “The policy rate will be held at this minimum
level for a prolonged period of time.”
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