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EM central bank easing runs out of steam after 20 months of cuts

LONDON (Reuters) - Central banks in developing countries have cut rates for 20 straight months, exceeding the easing cycles sparked by the 2008 financial crisis and in the wake of the 2010 euro crisis, though the pace of reductions continued to slow in September.

Interest rate moves by central banks across a group of 37 developing economies showed a net four cuts in September - the lowest number of reductions since June 2019, Reuters calculations show. In August, emerging central banks delivered a net seven cuts.

There are signs that the easing cycle might be running out of steam.

Turkey delivered a surprise interest rate hike last week - the first time a central bank in the group raised benchmark rates since Czech policy makers sprang into action in February. Hungary’s central bank also unexpectedly raised the interest rate on its one-week deposit tool.

“A raft of recent monetary policy decisions – in countries like Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia, Russia – suggest that EM central banks are by no means as keen as they used to be to cut policy rates,” said David Lubin, head of emerging market economics at Citi. “This raises the question of whether we have reached the end of the rate-cutting cycle.”

Graphic: EM central banks keep cutting rates EM central banks keep cutting rates

For an interactive version of the above graphic, click here tmsnrt.rs/3grAEai.

Reporting by Karin Strohecker; Graphic and data reporting by Ritvik Carvalho; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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