Interest rates refer to the cost of borrowing money, typically expressed as a percentage of the amount borrowed. They are set by central banks or monetary authorities and play a crucial role in shaping economic conditions in a country. The interest rate determines the cost of credit for individuals, businesses, and governments, and affects savings, investment, consumption, and inflation.
Central banks use interest rates as a tool to manage monetary policy and influence economic activity. When the economy is growing too quickly and inflation is rising, central banks may increase interest rates to slow down borrowing and spending. On the other hand, if the economy is in a recession and unemployment is high, central banks may lower interest rates to encourage borrowing and spending and stimulate economic growth.
Interest rates also affect currency exchange rates. When a country raises interest rates, its currency becomes more attractive to foreign investors seeking higher returns on their investments. This can lead to an increase in demand for the country's currency, causing it to appreciate in value relative to other currencies. Conversely, when a country lowers interest rates, its currency becomes less attractive, and its value may decline relative to other currencies.
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