Inflation may be far off target but economists are convinced the United States Federal Reserve and the Bank of England will soon begin raising rates from near zero – with the Fed poised to act as soon as Thursday.
The Japanese yen has strengthened unexpectedly by about 4 percent over the last month and it could rise further if the U.S. Federal Reserve delays a rate hike and the dollar weakens.
That the European Central Bank will have to soon add to its massive stimulus programme is fast becoming the consensus view among economists, although how it will do that effectively is far from clear.
For months, Latin America’s inflation has been surprisingly steady given the steep drop of their currencies. Weak growth helped curb prices – but that may be about to change.
The biggest attention grabber out of Japan is today’s 7.7% moonshot on the stock market, based on hopes of further central bank stimulus in Asia as well as an expected corporation tax cut over the next few years. Never mind that this comes just one day after the Nikkei joined many other major global stock indexes in wiping out its gains for the year.
If the most populous country in the world, as well as the largest consumer of raw materials, starts shying away from imports, that means global demand and, by extension, the world economy is taking a real hit.
U.S. non-farm payroll numbers came in well below forecast on Friday but may not have tolled the death knell on a September date for the first Federal Reserve rate hike in almost a decade.
As anticipation builds ahead of the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee’s Sept. 16-17 meeting, the decision on whether rates will go up or not rests squarely on incoming economic data, according to Fed Chair Janet Yellen.