Japan raises interest rates for the first time in 17 years – The Average Joe
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    Japan raises interest rates for the first time in 17 years

    Noah Weidner

    March 19, 2024

    In 2016, Japan’s central bank cut interest rates to -0.1% as part of a radical policy change meant to fight deflation and return the country to economic growth. Nearly two decades later, after yielding limited results, the Bank of Japan is embracing a new policy. On Tuesday, it nudged interest rates up to 0.1%, a slight increase representing a generational shift in the country’s monetary policy.

    • Japan is now the final major economy to ditch negative interest rates and stimulus measures, with the central bank that these efforts have “fulfilled their roles” (NYT).
    • Robeco’s Arnout van Rijn called the effort a “milestone in the normalization of monetary policy in Japan,” while Citigroup’s Keita Matsumoto told Reuters it could be “the beginning of a new era.”

    Land of the rising yield: In recent weeks, optimism in the Japanese economy has helped the country’s Nikkei 225 stock index reach all-time highs not seen in almost 40 years. However, the real impact of Japan’s actions will likely affect the bond market the most. Reuters suggests that the country’s $8.7T+ of government debt could see its value drop as Japan’s interest rates rise and it scales back its years-long stimulus efforts.

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