Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Interest Rates Could Stay 'Glued' to the Floor, Admits Bank's Chief Economist


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Photo: CHRISTOPHER PLEDGER
Interest Rates Remain Glued to the Floor – Andy Haldane-Chief Economist

Reports have come in from the Bank of England’s chief economist, that the interest rates would remain glued to the floor for the instant future. It has been stated by Andy Haldane who sits on the Bank’s committee of interest rate setter that inspite of strong attempts in dislodging them; rates tend to remain stuck at unprecedentedly low levels across major economies.Presently the financial markets are speculating that the UK rates would rise from their lows of 0.5pc to around 2,5pc ten years from now which according to Mr Haldane implies an extraordinarily slow pace of monetary tightening at least by historical standards.

He suggested that policymakers, in trying too hard to raise rates would make the situation even worse, but on the contrary with in due course, they could come free of their own accord. He further stated that it is one reason why the glue holding interest rates to their floor has stayed so strong and feels no immediate need to loosen that glue.Mr Haldane has earlier considered himself as one of the Bank’s most dovish interest rate setters, indicated that he would prefer rates to be lower, instead of being higher. He comments that the Bank should be prepared to cut interest rates if it looks like low inflation and tends to become entrenched in the UK.

Interpreted Downward Drift as Evidence of Secular Stagnation

He has said that the glue holding rates low is remarkably resilient and could have been aggravated by deficient western investment together with additional savings in the east. While in conversation with Milton Keynes, Haldane has stated that `some have interpreted their downward drift as evidence of secular stagnation’, which is a concept that economies tend will grow slowly than in the past and this fear is an echo of concerns raised after the Great Depression. Consumers and businesses now are concerned that what is a reasonable recovery may not be permanent. Consumers are pleased that their glass is now less than half empty but they are no more willing to drink it and this cautious behaviour is to a degree, mirrored also among companies’.

Wage Growth Causing Fluttering 

Inspite of encouraging signs of wage growth during the year right up to April, together with rise in pay with its fastest pace from the time of the crisis, Mr Haldane had cautioned using the phrase `one swallow does not a summer make’. Analysts had informed that the pay growth could be even stronger after accounting changes in the UK’s workforce like the changing mix of employee ages, occupation and job tenures.

However, Mr Haldane has criticized the idea stating that `the wage growth is causing some fluttering though not in this dovecote’. It is now a matter of time to wait and watch for the outcome of the prevailing scenario on the interest rates in the near future.

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