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If you believe the forecasts, this is the year when fiscal policy does the heavy lifting and central bankers have more scope to normalize monetary policy. But inaction or further easing still dominate IGM's country-by-country outlook for 2017.
Monthly Interest Rate Outlook Feb 2017
The realities of the US legislative process and the strong dollar will delay stimulus measures and crimp export earnings, according to Informa's Chief Macro Strategist David Ader, who sees any fiscal boost to the US economy coming in 1H18. That strengthens the case for two – or less – rate hikes this year and puts talk of the Fed reducing its balance sheet this year in the category of 'a distant risk.'
With the UK's Supreme Court throwing another spanner in the workings of the government's Brexit strategy, IGM Analyst Alvin Baker expects the Bank of England to keep its key interest rate unchanged into 2018. January's outlook forecast a 0.25% hike by year's end.
Our forecast for Brazil has changed. Christopher Shiells believes Brazil's central bank “has established a 'new rhythm of easing', given the anchoring of inflation expectations, widespread disinflation and GDP growth still weaker than expected…it could be the case that the loosening cycle will be more intense and shorter.”
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