During this month’s Spring Meetings in Washington DC, the IMF and World Bank held their annual Development Committee conference which looked at the economic outlook and potential risks for the global economy.
As is tradition, IMF head Christine Lagarde produced a written statement outlining several areas of priority. All of them were predicated on ‘reaching the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals‘. Whilst on paper the statement is geared towards emerging and developing countries, elements of it relate notably to western nations such as the United Kingdom, despite Britain being considered an advanced economy.
To explain, let’s first examine the stance taken on monetary policy:
In countries with elevated inflation or where exchange rate depreciations could trigger inflation pass-through, central banks should focus on containing inflation expectations (Angola, Argentina, Iran, Turkey). By contrast, monetary policy can be more accommodative where expectations are well anchored (Brazil, Indonesia).
In October 2018, a communique from the thirty-eighth meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee stated that where inflation was ‘close to or above target‘, central banks should tighten policy. On the opposite end of the scale, banks should ‘maintain monetary accommodation where inflation is below target‘.
As we have already seen since the 2016 EU referendum, the sustained fall in the value of sterling was according to the Bank of England ‘entirely‘ responsible for a subsequent spike in inflation. Doing what very few thought they would, the BOE raised interest rates in response – the first rise in over ten years. They then followed up with a second hike nine months later, with inflation remaining above the central bank’s mandate of 2%. …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…