The Federal Reserve increasingly looks stuck on the horns of a not-so-bullish dilemma: should it pay attention to global developments in financial markets, which argue for pause, or should it focus squarely on U.S. economic data, which suggest the time is nigh to hike?
A small piece of good news on Brazil’s inflation rate last week probably gave the central bank its best pretext yet to finally stop raising interest rates after more than one year of non-stop increases. But economists still think it’s too early to proclaim “mission accomplished”.
Euro zone inflation has dipped again and some forecasters are hedging their bets on the policy response by saying the European Central Bank could either cut rates this week or sometime in the next two months.
With all signs showing the Canadian economic miracle is fading, the Bank of Canada is understandably starting to sound more dovish. The Canadian dollar has got a whiff of that, down about 10 percent from where it was this time last year.
When the Bank of England decides to start hiking interest rates, it may find that its standard 25 and 50 basis point interest rate moves of old are too blunt a tool for Britain’s delicately-poised economic recovery.
from Jeremy Gaunt:
One of the more bizarre aspects of the euro zone crisis is that the currency in question -- the euro -- has actually not had that bad a year, certainly against the dollar. Even with Greece on the brink and Italy sending ripples of fear across financial markets, the single currency is still up 1.4 percent against the greenback for the year to date.