Pakistan’s central bank unexpectedly cut interest rates, almost three weeks after its governor resigned blaming state spending for price pressures in a nation with the second-fastest inflation in Asia.
The State Bank of Pakistan decreased the discount rate to 13.5 percent from 14 percent, Acting Governor Yaseen Anwar said at a news conference in Karachi, adding that a forecast of slower inflation prompted the reduction.
Shahid Kardar’s departure as central bank chief July 12, the second person to quit the post in about a year, had threatened to expose a breakdown in policymaking, undermining efforts to revive growth amid rising costs and terrorism.
Swan says Australia’s resource-driven investment boom a ‘mixed blessing’
Australia’s investment boom, driven by new resource projects, is a “mixed blessing” for the economy as a rise in the local dollar hurts the manufacturing and tourism industries, Treasurer Wayne Swan said.
“Clearly the high dollar is making life pretty tough for many trade-exposed sectors,” Swan said in his weekly economic note released on Sunday. “The lingering effects of the global financial crisis are adding to this, with a cautious consumer and tighter credit.”
Australia is undergoing what the Reserve Bank of Australia calls a structural change -- a shift in productive capacity to the mining and construction industries while the stronger currency hurts exporters, education, tourism and manufacturing. Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s government estimates that mining investment will reach A$76 billion ($84 billion) this fiscal year.
Swiss central bank should curb franc’s rise: Swatch chief
The head of watchmaking firm Swatch on Sunday urged Switzerland’s central bank to take measures to curb the appreciation of the Swiss franc, now at record heights against the euro and dollar.
“We must defend ourselves,” Swatch’s Director General Nick Hayek told the Sonntagszeitung newspaper in an interview published Sunday.
The National Bank of Switzerland (BNS) “must set an objective rate for the franc, for example a 1.35 (euro, $2.00) and defend it. This would at least be a clear signal” to the markets,” Hayek added.
He rejected claims that franc’s current record-high standing against the euro and dollar are due to the strength of the Swiss economy, which has attracted investors looking for a “safe haven” amid an intensifying eurozone debt crisis.