Colby Smith

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The central bank governors Andrew Bailey, Jay Powell and Christine Lagarde all shifted rates up © FT montage: Reuters/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The world’s leading central banks talked tough this week, but carried a smaller stick.

After a series of meetings on Wednesday and Thursday, the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and Bank of England all chose to shift their inflation-fighting strategy from a recent pattern of interest rate rises of 0.75 percentage points down to a half point. Switzerland, Norway, Mexico and the Philippines also slowed the pace of interest rate rises.

They married weaker action, however, with stronger words. The Fed talked of having “more work to do” to defeat high inflation, the ECB spoke of “more ground to cover” while the BoE insisted it needed to be “forceful” in battling price rises.…  Seguir leyendo »

Time for strong medicine: How central banks got tough on inflation

The world’s most-watched central banks are finally stamping down on a surge in inflation. But this week it became clear that they know this comes at a cost.

From the UK, where the Bank of England raised interest rates for the fifth time in as many meetings, to Switzerland, which bumped up rates for the first time since 2007, policymakers in almost every major economy are turning off the stimulus taps, spooked by inflation that many initially dismissed as fleeting.

But for the big two in particular — the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank — the prospect of sharply higher rates brings awkward trade-offs.…  Seguir leyendo »