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Central banks worldwide have no choice but to delay rate cuts

TL;DR

  • Global hopes for rate cuts are fading as U.S. inflation persists, affecting global financial policies.
  • The ECB and BoE have scaled back their rate cut forecasts due to ongoing U.S. inflation pressures.
  • Central banks are cautious about diverging too much from the Fed’s policies due to potential negative impacts on their economies.

Global markets are hitting the brakes on their hopes for interest rate cuts as the US Federal Reserve grapples with stubborn inflation. This is causing a ripple effect worldwide, complicating the financial strategies of other major central banks.

The recent US inflation data has been disappointing, leading to reduced forecasts for rate cuts from the European Central Bank (ECB), the Bank of England (BoE), and the Fed itself. Despite assertions by ECB and BoE officials that their inflation challenges differ from those in the US, the pressure from the US market is undeniable.

Central Banks on Edge

Expectations for the ECB to lower rates have seen a notable shift. Traders now predict a decrease by about 0.7 percentage points starting at the next policy meeting on June 6, a downturn from the previously anticipated 0.88 points. Earlier this year, the expectation was even more optimistic at 1.63 points.

Similarly, the BoE’s anticipated rate cuts have been adjusted down to 0.44 percentage points from an earlier expectation of 1.72 points at the start of the year. This shift aligns with the market’s reduced expectations for the Fed, which is poised to maintain rates at their 23-year high in the upcoming meeting.

The divergence in policy paths between the US and Europe has been a recurrent theme, but aggressive rate cuts in other regions could backfire, impacting exchange rates, import costs, and overall inflation.

Jay Powell, the Fed Chair, recently acknowledged that US inflation is stubbornly high, suggesting that borrowing costs will need to remain elevated longer than previously anticipated. Indeed, the Fed’s preferred inflation measure reported a higher-than-expected 2.7% increase year-over-year in March, prompting some traders to even bet on Fed rate hikes in the coming year.

A Complex Global Dance

ECB President Christine Lagarde and BoE Governor Andrew Bailey have highlighted that the inflation dynamics in Europe are distinct, often driven more by energy costs compared to the US’s large fiscal deficits. Despite this, both signaled possible rate cuts later this summer, even as the first Fed rate reduction might not occur until November.

Conversations around rate disparities continue as ECB and BoE officials express differing views on how far their policies can deviate from the Fed’s. The euro’s recent fall against the dollar underscores the delicate balance central banks must maintain in responding to these economic pressures.

In Asia, the scenario is similarly complex. The Bank of Japan (BOJ) faces inflationary pressures as the yen weakens, reaching 34-year lows against the dollar, which escalates the cost of imports. Yet, the BOJ has opted to maintain its current interest rates, a cautious approach echoed by its governor who prefers gradual adjustments.

Global financial conditions tightened further due to the US’s stringent policies, influencing bond markets worldwide. Germany’s 10-year Bunds, for example, often mirror the movements of the 10-year US Treasury.

In a recent interview, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed optimism that the US is on a downward inflation path, potentially allowing for future rate cuts. She highlighted the role of housing costs in inflation metrics, suggesting that a stabilization in the housing rental market could eventually lead to moderated inflation figures.

Meanwhile, central banks in other parts of the world, including Paraguay, Turkey, Russia, and Guatemala, have held their rates steady. Hungary has slowed its rate cuts, while Indonesia unexpectedly raised rates. Argentina, on the other hand, continues to lower its rates, betting on a sustained easing of inflation.

DisclaimerThe information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Jai Hamid

Jai Hamid is a passionate writer with a keen interest in blockchain technology, the global economy, and literature. She dedicates most of her time to exploring the transformative potential of crypto and the dynamics of worldwide economic trends.

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