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  • Writer's pictureSANJANA JEVRANI

Monetary Policy Meaning, Tools & Types?

monetary policy

Monetary policy is the strategy used by a nation's monetary authority to influence financial conditions, aiming for goals like high employment and stable prices. It also aims for economic stability and consistent exchange rates with other currencies. Most developed countries' central banks now pursue inflation-targeting policies, while many developing countries maintain fixed exchange rate systems.

What is meant by monetary policy?

Monetary policy refers to the actions and measures implemented by a country's central bank or monetary authority to manage and control the money supply and interest rates within the economy. Monetary policy utilizes interest rate adjustments to impact overall demand, employment, and inflation, serving as a key tool for stabilizing economic cycles.

Besides interest rates, it employs strategies like forward guidance, term funding for banks, yield targets, and bond purchase quantity targets. These measures significantly influence borrowing and savings rates for individuals and businesses, thereby affecting economic activity, employment levels, and inflation rates.

What are the types of monetary policy?

Monetary policies are classified as expansionary or contractionary based on the economy's growth levels.

  1. Contractionary: A contractionary policy involves increasing interest rates and decreasing the money supply to slow down economic growth and reduce inflation, which happens when the prices of goods and services rise, leading to a decrease in the purchasing power of money.

  2. Expansionary: During economic slowdowns or recessions, an expansionary policy boosts economic activity by lowering interest rates, making saving less attractive and promoting increased consumer spending and borrowing.


How does monetary policy impact inflation?

  1. Interest Rates: Central banks adjust interest rates to influence borrowing and spending. Higher rates reduce borrowing and slow economic activity, helping to lower inflation.

  2. Money Supply: Central banks control the amount of money circulating in the economy. By reducing the money supply, they can curb spending and mitigate inflationary pressures.

  3. Exchange Rates: Monetary policy changes can affect currency values. A stronger currency can lower import prices, contributing to lower inflation.

  4. Inflation Expectations: Clear communication from central banks influences how people expect prices to change. Stable expectations help to anchor inflation at desired levels.


What are the tools of monetary policy?

  1. Open Market Operations (OMO): Buying and selling government securities to control the money supply and influence interest rates.

  2. Interest Rates: Central banks set short-term interest rates to impact borrowing costs and spending.

  3. Reserve Requirements: Mandating the percentage of deposits that banks must hold as reserves, affects their lending capacity.

  4. Forward guidance: Forward guidance shapes market expectations by sharing central bank forecasts and plans on interest rates, crucial for modern central banks due to its impact on inflation.

  5. Discount Window Lending: Providing short-term loans to banks, influencing their liquidity and lending behavior.

  6. Quantitative Easing (QE): Purchasing long-term securities to inject liquidity and lower long-term interest rates during economic crises.


What is the difference between fiscal policy and monetary policy?


Fiscal Policy

Monetary Policy


Governed by government authorities

Implemented by central banks


Influences government spending and taxation

Manages money supply and interest rates


Government spending, taxation, and borrowing

Open market operations, interest rates, etc.


Affects overall demand in the economy

Influences liquidity and financial markets


Through legislation and budgetary processes

Through central bank actions and policy tools


What are the goals of monetary policy?

  1. Price Stability: Maintain stable prices by controlling inflation.

  2. Full Employment: Support maximum sustainable employment by influencing economic activity.

  3. Economic Growth: Promote sustainable and balanced economic growth over time.

  4. Financial Stability: Ensure stability and resilience of the financial system.

  5. Exchange Rate Stability: Maintain stable exchange rates to support economic stability.



Monetary policy is a central bank's strategy to stabilize prices, boost employment, and support economic growth through interest rate adjustments, money supply management, and financial system risk monitoring, aiming for a healthy economy and financial stability.

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