TIMELINE: Central banks go negative - but to what avail? | Reuters.com
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TIMELINE: Central banks go negative - but to what avail?

Some of the world's biggest central banks have cut rates into negative territory, hoping to boost growth and lift anemic inflation. Here's what they've done and the results they've seen.


    Sweden's central bank cut rates to -0.5 percent in February from -0.35, despite a relatively strong economy and concerns that super low rates would further stoke a housing bubble.

    The bank also said it was prepared to intervene on currency markets to stem the krone's rise, despite economists' warnings on getting into a currency war.

    Critics say the latest rate cuts show a too narrow focus on inflation and that they are fueling a rally in house prices and lending. 


    Both the of the SNB's key interest rates have been in negative territory since January 2015 - and its deposit rate is the lowest of any central bank in the world.

    However, the SNB's harshest rate had only been applied to just over a third of deposits as of the end of last year because the rest of the cash parked at the central bank was within its exemption threshold. 

    The SNB earned $1.26 billion from its negative interest rates in 2015.

    REUTERS/Ruben Sprich 


    The ECB has kept its deposit rate in negative territory since mid-2014. It's been hoping to boost ultra low inflation and spur lending in a region still reeling from its sovereign debt crisis. 

    It's cut rates several times since March 2015 and it's also been buying assets - mostly sovereign debt.

    Still, low oil prices are keeping a lid on price growth and inflation sank back into negative territory, putting the pressure on the ECB to do more and more.

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