Southeast Asian central banks seem to be close to fighting inflation using interest rates, with economists seeing the tightening cycle ending after 25 to 50 basis points of moves in the coming months. A survey showed that Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand will each raise borrowing costs by a total of half-point in the coming months before reaching their peak rates. Malaysia, meanwhile, will cap the rate hike cycle with one more quarter-point increase. Southeast Asia faced fewer headwinds than did peers in South Asia, where policymakers reached for both conventional and unconventional tools in the past year to cool inflation and support currencies pressured by the Federal Reserve’s interest rate increases. With slowing inflation in the US, many analysts surveyed expect rate increases in Southeast Asia to end this quarter.
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