The IMF on Sunday defended negative interest rates set by central banks, given “significant risks” of slow growth, while acknowledging potential for dangerous boom-and-bust cycles.
Six central banks, notably the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan, have taken the unprecedented measure, aimed at loosening the reins on credit to help spur consumer spending and investment.
“Although the experience with negative nominal interest rates is limited, we tentatively conclude that overall they help deliver additional monetary stimulus and easier financial conditions,” three top officials at the IMF said.
In the middle of last month, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said that the unorthodox negative short-term rates, in which commercial banks pay central banks to hold their money, had probably supported stronger economic growth.
While in theory the concept should work, economists are closely studying what happens in Europe and Japan amid worries that negative rates could actually provoke businesses and consumers to be more cautious about spending.
“Negative interest rates may induce boom and bust cycles in asset prices. These potential risks require close monitoring and supervisory scrutiny,” the IMF officials said.
Production at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp’s (TSMC, 台積電) fabs was not affected by a fire at a construction site for a water recycling facility in the Southern Taiwan Science Park in Tainan. The world’s biggest contract chipmaker said that the construction site is not adjacent to its fabs, which were unaffected. CTCI Corp (中鼎工程) is responsible for the construction of the facility, which it is to operate itself once it is completed, the chipmaker said. The facility caught fire at about 11am, and the blaze was brought under control about 30 minutes after the incident was reported, the Southern Taiwan Science Park Administration
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