Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 2nd 2014 Contents A17
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PARIS---Inflation slowed in major
developed countries in February amid
a steep drop in energy prices, a report
The Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development said
consumer price inflation in its 34
member countries slowed to 1.4 per
cent in February from 1.7 per cent in
The US inflation rate was 1.1 per
cent in February, while the European
Union's was just 0.8 per cent, well
below the 2 per cent many economists
deem a suitable level.
The OECD, a think-tank for the
world's most developed countries, said
however that excluding volatile food
and energy prices, core inflation for
its 34 members was stable for a fourth
month running at 1.6 per cent.
Inflation in G-20 countries, which
includes major developing countries
such as Indonesia, India and Brazil,
slowed to 2.3 per cent in February
from 2.6 per cent in January, the
OECD said. (AP)
In its March 28 Monetary Policy
Announcement (MPA), the Central
Bank said it will be issuing Treas-
ury Bills and Treasury Notes to
mop up excess liquidity estimated
to have already reached $7.1 billion
in March, up from $6.7 billion in
"Following the Gazetting of Par-
liament's approval of increased bor-
rowing limits under the Treasury
Bills and Treasury Notes Acts, the
Central Bank is now in a better posi-
tion to expand its open market oper-
ations to remove excess liquidity
from the banking system," the Cen-
The bank also announced: "The
Central Bank will be intensifying its
liquidity management operations in
the coming period to reduce excess
liquidity in the banking system."
Liquidity levels retreated in Jan-
uary before rising again in February
to March. After declining to $6.4
billion in January, mainly because
of lower government fiscal injections,
commercial banks' excess reserves
at the Central Bank rose to a daily
average of $6.7 billion in February.
Average excess liquidity rose again
to $7.1 billion over the period March
5 -- 24, as fiscal injections rebounded.
Open market operations and Cen-
tral Bank sales of foreign exchange
to authorized dealers together with-
drew $893 million in January, $831
million in February and $395 million
in the first three weeks of March.
In addition, the Central Bank also
rolled over for one year a $1.5 billion
commercial bank special deposit
which matured in March.
"Liquidity levels in the banking
system remain high and continue
to keep domestic treasury rates low.
With US treasury rates rising in
recent months, interest rate differ-
entials on longer term TT and US
treasury bonds are negative," the
According to the latest available
data from the Central Statistical
Office, in the 12 months to February
headline inflation measured 3.9 per
cent, up from 2.9 per cent in January
but down from 5.6 per cent in
December 2013. Core inflation accel-
erated to 2.7 per cent (year-on-year)
in February from 2.0 per cent in
December. There was a pick-up in
entertainment related sub-categories
such as recreation and culture,
hotels, cafes and restaurants and
alcoholic beverages and tobacco in
early 2014, the Central Bank said.
On the other hand, food inflation
decelerated to 5.2 per cent in Feb-
ruary from 10.2 per cent in Decem-
T&T is well positioned to be the
international financial centre of the
region, Varun Maharaj, chairman of
the T&T International Financial Cen-
tre (IFC), said yesterday.
"Unlike many of the competing
destinations, T&T, with a Standard
and Poor's rating of A, is a vibrant
and stable economy with world class
infrastructure and the availability of
trained, English speaking financial
services and accounting personnel,"
"We are located within the same
time zone as several financial centres
such as New York and Toronto. We
boast of well developed telecoms
infrastructure. These factors make
T&T ideal for back and middle offices
to support financial service."
Maharaj , who was speaking at the
launch of a Banking Process Out-
sourcing (BPO) Pilot Training Pro-
gramme at the School of Accounting
and Management, St Augustine, said
opportunities for the financial sector
continue to grow.
"T&T is the only country in the
Western Hemisphere with a niched,
sector specific value proposition. This
is given the skill sets of our human
capital and as well as the population
size," he said.
Maharaj said the IFC's role is
focused on the facilitation of foreign
investment in the banking, financial
services and insurance sector.
"It is our role to develop sector
specific incentives and engage the
Government support to transform
T&T into ready-financial services
hub. The T&T IFC is committed to
developing T&T as a near offshore
financial services destination through
its end-to-end investment facilitation
and support services," he said.
New plan to mop up
T&T poised to be
financial centre of region
Trade Minister Vasant Bharath, second from right, in conversation with
Franco Siu Chong, chairman of theT&T International Financial Centre (TTIFC)
at the launch of a training programme at the School of Accounting &
Management (SAM) in St. Augustine yesterday. At left is Sheeba Thomas,
vice president of NIIT Uniqua and TTIFC CEO Varun Maharaj.
PHOTO: MARYANN AUGUSTE.
Inflation slowing in developed countries
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