New interest rate hikes urged

Global interest rates must be raised as soon as possible if inflation is to be reined in. So claims the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) - which represents all central bankers - following the release of its annual report published. It also wants a sharp lift. No soft landings.


"The logical conclusion is that, at the global level, current monetary policy settings are inconsistent with price stability," the BIS says.

It adds: "The sooner that advanced economies abandon the leverage-led growth that precipitated the Great Recession, the sooner they will shed the destabilising debt accumulated during the last decade and return to sustainable growth."

This advice will fall on deaf ears as far as the Bank of England is concerned. The recent release of minutes from the Bank of England's last MPC meeting clearly showed that UK rates look likely to be grounded at their record 0.5% for much of this year.

Hawks ignored

And if the economy doesn't get going, then more quantative easing - on top of the £200 billion already injected - may be ordered.

Meanwhile strange that across the Channel, our neighbours continue to bicker with worries about the Euro, monetary union and more bailouts. Yet, curiously, sterling fails to rise as a consequence.

So don't be too alarmed by what the BIS says. We're still collectively trying to pay down debt before we start spending. A small fall in the price of oil may help - the first sign that inflation may have peaked? - but credit worry and job security woes predominate.

Is the BIS really that out of touch?

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