Interest Rates Peaked? 45 per cent of Economists are Unsure. The Rest Don't Know

Posted on May 05, 2023. by NTI

The huge story this week, of course, surrounds the vow recommitment ceremonies on Married at First Sight (Australia). According to Billy, other issues have apparently been discussed on the media, including some around inflation numbers and interest rates. Some perched on the edge of their sofa awaiting the Fed's decision about American interest rates this week.

Most concerning is the number of economists who have been invading our airwaves sharing their views. It seems that 45 per cent of economists thought a global recession was likely this year, and the same proportion considered it unlikely (the remaining 10 per cent of economists couldn't remove themselves from the fence in time to share their view).

In the end both the Fed and European Central Bank erred on the side of caution, increasing interest rates by an amount which they probably hoped would go unnoticed; each plumped for a quarter per cent rise. The argument is that we may be witnessing the swansong of interest rate rises and that the heat is being reduced on inflation numbers. Traders were looking for clues for when banks will start to ride down the southside of the parabola of rate rises, but the Fed, in particular, was giving nothing away, stating their intention was biased towards further rate rises ... maybe.

As long as inflation keeps rising big fingers at national banks will remain in a hovering position above the 'up' button on interest rates. For example, Christine Lagarde, President of the EU, said that the European Central Bank still has more ground to cover, but "it is important to assess how quickly it needs to get there". Let's hope she doesn't ask the view of 45 per cent of economists (or indeed the other 45 per cent) (or that remaining 10 per cent).

The clever money reckons that the historic raising cycle we are been enjoying for the last 18 months may be close to its peak ...

... but central banks are keeping their options open.

Others argue that inflation still hold us in its grip and is certainly well north of all targets, so monetary policymakers cannot afford to shuffle around the perimeters of doubt and 'wait and see' too much.

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