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Interests

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  1. The Bank of England will raise interest rates faster than previously thought to tame surging inflation, according to economists polled by Reuters who significantly upgraded their forecasts for consumer price rises. A near 30-year high inflation rate in December pressured Britain’s central bank to raise rates for a second meeting in a row earlier this month, taking Bank Rate to 0.50%. But nearly half of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) members voted for a hike to 0.75%, making further tightening next month more likely. As per express news, Nearly two-thirds of respondents in the Feb. 7-11 poll, or 25 of 40, expected a 25 basis points increase in Bank Rate to 0.75% at the conclusion of the next MPC meeting on March 17. That would mark the first time the Bank has raised rates at three meetings in a row since 1997. A slim majority, 21 of 41, forecast a further increase to 1.00% next quarter. That is well behind financial markets, which are pricing in the bank to make a cumulative 75 basis points of increases at its March and May meetings. In a poll taken last month, only one further increase was expected this year - in the third quarter - showing how quickly rate expectations are changing. “A combination of higher inflation, a resilient labour market, and better-than-expected Omicron data warrants a continuation of the hiking cycle that began in December,” said Michal Stelmach, senior economist at KPMG. “We expect the MPC to follow through with rate hikes in March and May, with a potential pause afterwards to allow the new policy direction to get embedded”. Also facing high inflation, now at the highest in four decades at 7.5%, the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to tighten at its March policy meeting. Persistent global supply chain issues and rising energy prices have pushed this year’s median inflation forecast up for the ninth consecutive survey. Inflation was pegged at 5.7% this quarter on average and seen peaking at 6.6% next quarter, up 0.5 and 1.1 percentage points respectively from January, around treble the BoE’s 2.0% target. Inflation was then expected to ease in the third and fourth quarters to 5.9% and 4.5%. "Inflation will peak at slightly below 7% in April when the effects of the energy price hike are fully captured in the data. The second half of the year should see supply-side inflationary pressures easing," said Stefan Koopman, senior macro strategist at Rabobank. More than 80% of respondents to an extra question, 15 of 18, said it was more likely the BoE increases rates more than they expect rather than less. Britain’s economy shrank 0.2% in December, less than expected, as the Omicron coronavirus variant swept Europe and the loss of momentum is likely to have stretched through this quarter. The economy was predicted to expand 0.4% this quarter and 0.9% next. Growth was then seen slowing to 0.6% in both the third and fourth quarters. Across 2022 annual growth was put at 4.3% and for 2023 it was 2.1%, down from 4.5% and 2.2% predicted a month ago. Amidst calls from BoE officials for wage restraint 85% of respondents, 17 of 20, did not see pay rises keeping up with inflation over the next 12 months. “The UK already has falling real pay, weakening nominal pay growth and a clear risk of stagnating economic growth, so any notion of an impending wage-price spiral seems overdone,” said Koopman.
  2. Jan Hatzius told CNBC on Tuesday that the pace of wage increases in the United States must slow as inflation picks up, becoming a key focus for the Fed and markets alike. The quarterly annualized wage growth rate has been "well above" 4% over the past two quarters, said Hatzius, who is also head of global investment research at Goldman Sachs. it has to go down,” added Hatzius. Goldman Sachs' chief economist said it would be difficult to sustain wage increases of 5% to 6% without causing "significantly high" inflation. Jan Hatzius told CNBC on Tuesday that as inflation rises, the pace of US wage increases must slow and become a key focus for the Fed and markets alike. P.S: Participate in The New Year Promo Contest & Win iPhone 13 PRO Max! “I think 4% is fine. 5% to 6% is probably difficult to sustain without significantly higher inflation, so it needs to be brought down,” Hatzius added. The annualized quarter-over-quarter wage growth rate was "well above" 4%, said Hatzius, who is also head of global investment research at Goldman Sachs. I'll probably have to slow down a bit," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia." January. Earlier this month, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said “there is real wage inflation everywhere”. Compensation costs at Goldman rose 33% to $17.7 billion for 2021, a whopping $4.4 billion increase driven primarily by performance pay increases, executives said. Meanwhile, inflation is picking up and the US consumer price index rose 7% in December, the fastest rate since June 1982. These higher consumer prices are weighing on wage increases for workers despite their pay rises. In fact, the average worker has taken a 2.4% pay cut over the past year, according to seasonally adjusted data released by the Labor Department. The top six U.S. banks -- JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs. Since raised some salaries in 2021 and then raised spending forecasts for next year, according to a Reuters report. However, Hatzius is optimistic about falling wage inflation about their salary expectations. That some of these recent salary increases are more like one-off, one-time retention bonuses and things that won't necessarily be repeated," he said. "But I think that's an important thing to look at. Economists expect inflation concerns to prompt the Fed to tighten monetary policy this year to counter rising prices. In December, the majority of the monetary policy committee forecast three rate hikes this year, but Goldman forecast that the Fed will hike rates four times in 2022. "Inflation is pretty political right now," Hatzius added. Consider the strong desire to reduce inflation on both sides of the political aisle.

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