Monetary policy conduct under inflation targeting framework

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CHARPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

The world is turning into a “demon” to its own people as many are living in deplorable situations that are hardly bearable. The price level have risen sharply in the recent past coupled with dwindling wage levels and declining growth rate, especially, in majority of African countries where poverty has embedded itself to an extent that people in these countries live below one dollar per day. However, majority of governments have embarked on instituting major reforms through introduction of avant-garde monetary policy schemes, which forge the way forward through which the monetary authority re-design its policy by focusing primarily on price stability as the primary objective.

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In the last twenty years, majority of both developed and emerging economies respectively have embarked on IT framework as their best choice in conducting monetary policy, with none of inflation countries targeters abandoning the framework, save for Finland and Spain, that have already joined the European Monetary System (EMS) in late 90’s. IT-framework; an approach to management of monetary policy was pioneered by the New Zealand Government in 1990 after it abandoned its pegged exchange rate five years later. By the year 2009, over twenty-five countries comprised of developed, emerging, and developing countries around the world had so far espoused the IT-Framework and have reported greater achievement of low inflation rate. Majority of these countries mainly from Latin America, East Asia and United Kingdom had experienced high bout of inflation and financial crises exacerbated by their former monetary policy regimes. These not only resulted to sacrificing output and employment but also resulted to severe increase in international capital flow leading to a switch to floating exchange rate.

1.1 Historical Background

In relation to many other African countries, the monetary policy and financial institutions of Kenya has developed rapidly within the last two decades and probably more advanced than other countries at a similar stage of underdevelopment. Kenya opened its own Central Bank in September 1966 with the hope that, it would at least generate secondary expansion by facilitating the creation of bank credit and accelerate the process of monetization of the economy’s subsistence sector, in spite, of its openness and sensitivity to fluctuations of primary commodities.

The next decade following the establishment of her Central Bank witnessed interesting changes in Kenya’s monetary and banking policies as the oil shock of 1973 created inflexibility in the foreign exchange reserves as they declined considerably. Hence, the magnitude and speed of reduction in credit expansion were not adequate to show the decline in foreign exchange reserves. In fact, the fear that tight monetary policy induced from outside could hamper the rate of development at home led to feeble corrective measures such as restraining inflation impact due to price boom of exports,

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