Yesterday the Bank of Korea raised rates for the first time in 6 years
Goldman Sachs believes that this would spark a wave of rate hike increases across the region, starting with Malaysia and Taiwan - and likely Thailand in 2019. They cite robust growth and inflationary pressures among the key supporting factors.
In Korea, policy makers are expecting growth to top their 3% forecast this year. Meanwhile, economists are still looking at gradual rate increases by the Bank of Korea rather than a sharp tightening stance.
Bank of Korea governor Lee Ju-yeol said at a news conference that the widely expected decision to raise the policy rate by a quarter percentage point to 1.5% wasn't unanimous, with one dissenting board member calling for holding the rate steady. That indicates that another rate increase may take some time.
WSJ reporting the story here. May be gated.
It's not hard to see why sentiment across Asia is starting to shift towards the hawkish side. Growth in emerging markets remain rather solid, and if there is an uptick in inflation to go with it, there's no reason why central banks should not raise rates.
As the global economy starts expanding altogether, the moves from the US, Canada, and Europe in tightening monetary policy will eventually reverberate towards Asia as well.