This coming week will provide several indications of the recovery of the global economy, amid increasing concerns of another economic downturn. A major point of worry for economists is that there are limited tools that Central Banks can use globally to avoid another recession. China is expected to release data that is leading to expectations of an increase in stimulus measures to avoid a sharp downturn. The European Central Bank has been attempting to raise inflationary pressure to spike a raise in prices. Inflation numbers for some member countries are expected to be published this coming week and are expected to confirm that prices fell by 0.1 percent annually last month. Banks globally have been taking either a more hawkish stance, where there may not be an extension of quantitative easing, or a stance of allowing more money to enter the economy through increased stimulus.
The International Monetary Fund requested the United States Federal Reserve Bank, the European Central Bank, and the Japanese Central Bank to refrain from raising rates prior to further signs of recovery are shown. The hope was that emerging market countries would help drive the global economic recovery, but many of these economies are in financial turmoil. Christine Lagarde stated during the IMF annual meeting that the global economy was due for a slower growth pattern.
In 2008, after the financial crisis, central banks attempted to rescue the global economy. A report by an international body, the Group of Thirty, warned that zero or near zero interest rates and printing money would not be able to increase economic growth. The easy access to money has caused asset prices, like stocks and housing, to increase in several countries, yet without stimulating economic growth. In addition, the Group of Thirty also warned that the decline in commodity prices could warn of “debt deflation” and weaker growth. Interest rates would have to remain low as many central banks would have to maintain or extend their bond programs to try to bolster economic growth. None of the major central banks have come close to reaching their target inflation rates, and high inflation is a cause of worry. The consequences of exiting from easy monetary policy is very unpredictable, but a lot of the risk lies in waiting too long for the central banks to raise the interest rates.