More than half of central banks are pursuing a monetary easing policy at present, the largest since the financial crisis, the Financial Times reported.

In the third quarter, 58.5 percent of central banks around the world cut interest rates in a clear response to a deep bout in global manufacturing as the sector recorded its longest recession in seven years.

UBS economists estimate that global growth in the third quarter was running at an annual rate of 2.3% near its lowest level in the last quarter of 2018 when the disruption of the trade war was at its peak.

Economists at the Swiss bank said the slowdown was consistent with the shock of global confidence given the concentration of weakness in growth data.

The European Central Bank cut interest rates last month as part of the biggest stimulus package in three years followed by the US Federal Reserve, which cut interest rates for the second time this year.

Only three out of 41 countries raised interest rates in the third quarter, with Norway's strong economic growth driving the third increase this year, while Kazakhstan's central bank raised interest rates on fears of rising inflation.

Interest rates rose in Argentina, where the central bank moves to support the currency following the defeat of President Mauricio Macri, in the presidential elections last August.

The FT noted that interest rate cuts continued in the fourth quarter as Australia, Iceland and India eased monetary policy last week.

This comes at a time when the market is now giving great indications that the US Federal Reserve may further cut interest rates this month.

In contrast, the Bank of Japan kept rates on hold for more than three years but is also expected to cut rates later this month.