As the U.S. Federal Reserve edges closer to its first interest hike in nearly a decade, its critics are lining up into one of two camps: either the Fed is hopelessly behind the curve, and will have to grapple with runaway inflation very soon; or the Fed seems overzealous in wanting to get interest rates back to what it would call a normal level and instead should wait until late this year or next before hiking.
Slightly more than a year ago, the European Central Bank launched, with as much fanfare as can be expected from a central bank, a new incentive programme for commercial banks to lend to euro zone businesses, which they had been doing less and less of over the previous few years.
Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff is fighting for political survival less than a year after being re-elected. Several reasons have been pointed exhaustively to explain how things got so bad in such a short period of time: chief among them are the burgeoning corruption scandal at state-run Petrobras and stubbornly high inflation, out of sync with the rest of the world.
British wage growth will outstrip the Bank of England’s forecast this year but that doesn’t mean the first rate hike will come sooner.
While Greece has been trapped in the clutches of an economic and sovereign debt crisis for half a decade, it has only been over the last month that the risk of leaving the euro has risen so dangerously high.
About a year ago, the European Central Bank singled out a recovery in bank loans to private businesses as crucial to a lasting economic recovery – and even more crucially for the ECB, a rise in inflation which it targets at 2 percent.
from Rahul Karunakar:
Almost a year after the European Central Bank announced new cash loans tied to actual lending to small and medium enterprises, data on Friday is expected to show euro zone private loans are picking up pace.
We’ve been told for years that a meaningful pickup in wages – usually the primary driver of domestic inflation – was required to set the stage for interest rate hikes both in the UK and the U.S.
Brazil’s relentless series of interest rates hikes is successfully lowering inflation expectations – despite recent signs to the contrary, from lottery to tomato prices.