Monetary policy

  • Monetary policy is the policy adopted by the monetary authority of a nation to control either the interest rate payable for very short-term borrowing (borrowing by banks from each other to meet their short-term needs) or the money supply, often as an attempt to reduce inflation or the interest rate, to ensure price stability and general trust of the value and stability of the nation’s currency.
  • Monetary policy is a modification of the supply of money, i.e. “printing” more money, or decreasing the money supply by changing interest rates or removing excess reserves.
  • Further purposes of a monetary policy are usually to contribute to the stability of gross domestic product, to achieve and maintain low unemployment, and to maintain predictable exchange rates with other currencies.
  • Monetary economics can provide insight into crafting optimal monetary policy.
  • In developed countries, monetary policy is generally formed separately from fiscal policy.
  • Monetary policy is referred to as being either expansionary or contractionary.
  • Expansionary policy occurs when a monetary authority uses its procedures to stimulate the economy.
  • Contractionary policy maintains short-term interest rates greater than usual, slows the rate of growth of the money supply, or even decreases it to slow short-term economic growth and lessen inflation.
  • Contractionary policy can result in increased unemployment and depressed borrowing and spending by consumers and businesses, which can eventually result in an economic recession if implemented too vigorously.