Central banks preview: Fed, ECB, BoJ rate decisions
Investors are braced for a big week packed with central bank meetings by the Fed, ECB, and Bank of Japan. IGTV’s Angeline Ong takes a look at why inflation and the labour market are the keys to what these central banks do next.
Central banks on rates
Now it's a huge week for interest rates, especially since we've seen a rerepositioning of interest rate hike bets.
Three central banks are set to adjust or not adjust their policy. The Federal Reserve (Fed) rate decision is on Wednesday and markets are pricing in a pause for the Fed after 10 straight meetings in which it has jacked up its key rate by a full five percentage points in 14 months.
Economists do see this coming meeting as an opportunity to pause so that the Fed can see the degree of a slowdown it's managed with its rate action so far. Markets are beginning to price in a further potential 25 basis point hike at the end of July.
Then the action doesn't stop there. On Thursday, the European Central Bank (ECB) is expected to raise its key interest rate by 25 basis points, and again in July before pausing for the rest of the year.
Now this is according to a poll conducted by Reuters, which indicated that economists believe inflation across the single currency economies remains sticky. Now after 375 basis points of hikes over the past year, economic activity across the region has slowed sending the eurozone into a technical recession.
As for the Bank of Japan (BoJ) on Friday, it is forecast to maintain its ultra loose policy, but it could also signal that inflation is overshooting its forecast. The so-called Core CPI reading, excluding food and energy, which is favoured by the BoJ, has jumped to 4.1% year-on-year in April. This is a level not seen since the early eighties and would be an appetiser ahead of the bank's economic projections due in July.
In BoJ governor Kazuo Ueda's opinion though, inflation overshooting the Bank of Japan's target doesn't mean a rate hike necessarily. The governor already said he needed to see durable wage growth accompany price rises before considering any move.
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