Central Bank Watch: Track Interest Rates, Balance Sheets, Unemployment and More – Real Time Economics

Which major central bank has the biggest balance sheet? The lowest  interest rates? Highest unemployment? Lowest inflation?

The Wall Street Journal’s Central Bank Watch, an interactive graphic, lays it all out in color: http://projects.wsj.com/CentralBanks.

The chart shows how four major central banks — the U.S. Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of England and Bank of Japan — have used two key policy tools, interest rate targets and asset purchases. Also see how their economies compare on unemployment and inflation.

  • The Fed has the lowest benchmark short-term interest rate of the three that target certain rates. (The BOJ doesn’t do that.) The Fed’s is nearly zero, but the others aren’t much higher.
  • The BOJ by far has the biggest balance sheet—the sum of its holdings of bonds and other assets–compared with the size of its economy, and how inflation has climbed steeply as the central banks’ holdings have grown.
  • The ECB, in contrast, has the smallest balance sheet, the highest unemployment and the lowest inflation.

The interactive graphic shows how the measures have changed over more than five years. To see gauges for all four central banks at once, click on the white boxes next to each country name in the color bars at the top. To see fewer, unclick on the one you want to erase.

Check back often. It automatically updates at http://projects.wsj.com/CentralBanks.



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17 June 2014 | 3:12 pm – Source: blogs.wsj.com

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