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Central banks must tackle inflation head-on, says IMF

TL;DR

  • Central banks, urged by the IMF, need to aggressively address the ongoing inflation crisis.
  • Despite some reductions, inflation rates remain significantly high, especially in the U.S.
  • A vast majority (93%) of global economies are exceeding their inflation targets.

The battle against runaway inflation is reaching a critical juncture. According to top economists and international financial think tanks, it’s high time that central banks go on the offensive.

With the inflation monster rearing its head in major global economies, there is an urgent need for a robust strategy. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has taken the bull by the horns by pointing out the severity of the situation.

A Relentless Upward March of Inflation

The U.S., a powerhouse of the global economy, is grappling with its worst inflation spell in decades. Despite a slight dip in recent times, the inflation rates are alarmingly high.

The backbone of the U.S. financial system, the Federal Reserve, is under the spotlight and faces pressure to maintain a stringent monetary policy stance.

Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, the IMF’s chief economist, has emphasized the dire consequences of premature policy relaxation. He suggests that the price of easing up too soon is monumental, especially when the economic data consistently exceeds expectations.

For the Federal Reserve, keeping borrowing costs at elevated levels or even contemplating an increase from the current 5.25-5.5% range seems a plausible move. Central banks worldwide, like the European Central Bank and the Bank of England, have set an inflation target of 2%.

Yet, recent figures highlight a deviation, with U.S.’s PCE inflation at 3.5% and the UK experiencing a whopping 6.7% inflation. The IMF’s prognosis? A return to targeted inflation rates might drag on until 2025.

Inflation isn’t just a U.S. problem; it’s a global contagion. Approximately 93% of economies with an inflation objective are overshooting their targets.

Despite central banks’ aggressive rate hikes trying to control this unruly beast, the situation remains grim. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook report paints a sobering picture: a foreseeable future with inflation stubbornly above the target.

A silver lining? Not quite. While inflation stubbornly persists, the global growth projection looks tepid. Anticipations indicate a descent from 3.5% in 2022 to a mere 2.9% next year. This mismatch between high inflation and stagnating growth sends an alarming signal.

Credit Markets Feeling the Pinch

As central banks wield their tools to curb inflation, credit markets worldwide are beginning to exhibit the strain. Advanced economies witness contracting credit and investment demands.

Housing markets are cooling off, and a 20% uptick in U.S. bankruptcy rates over the past year further darkens the cloud. Though these tough conditions stop short of a full-blown “credit crunch,” the tightening noose is palpable.

Despite the gloomy outlook, the U.S. bond market reacted to impressive hiring data, leading to speculation that the official interest rates might maintain their altitude longer than expected.

And, while the U.S. remains optimistic with a GDP forecast upgrade, the situation across the pond isn’t as rosy. The euro area, particularly Germany, looks at a sluggish growth trajectory.

G7 nations such as Japan expect dwindling momentum, while the UK economy projects stagnation. China, another titan of the global economy, also faces downward revisions in its growth forecasts.

Central banks, the guardians of global economies, face a herculean task. The lingering threat of inflation, paired with stagnating growth, calls for nuanced yet decisive action.

And as the IMF’s warnings reverberate in financial corridors, it’s clear that a proactive, aggressive, and sustained approach is the need of the hour. The road ahead is fraught with challenges, and only time will tell if these financial institutions can wrestle inflation into submission.

Disclaimer: The 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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