The Week Ahead: Imminent US Rate Hike

The US Federal Reserve will announce its latest interest-rate decision on Thursday. It is widely expected that the federal funds rate will go up by 0.25% to 1.75%. The gains in employment have been solid, which is likely to support the rate-setting panel’s view of gradual increases are warranted.

In Asia, there are also interest-rate decisions in the Philippines, Taiwan and Indonesia.

The UK must decide what to do about interest rates too. Many expect the bank to keep the base rate at 0.5%. That is provided the rate of inflation remains around 3%. The latest inflation numbers are due out just two days before the announcement.

Japan has also will release inflation figures. In January, consumer prices rose by 1.4%, after a 1% gain the previous month. Prices rises were driven by a jump in the cost of food.

Russia could confirm its next president as early as Monday. The first round of elections will take place on Sunday 18 March. A second round will only be necessary if no candidate attains more than 50% of the votes. No prizes for guess who the next president of Russia will be.

And finally, Singapore will announce inflation numbers for February. In January, the rate of inflation was 0%. That was because the cost of food and transport went up at a slower rate, while the cost of housing and utilities fell more. Core inflation, which strips out volatile elements, was 1.4%.

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