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The Global Interest Rate Hike – Should We Be Worried?

Are you a stock market investor, a homeowner, or just somebody who wants to keep an eye on the world economy? (apnews.com) If so, you might have noticed that central banks around the world are cranking up interest rates to combat inflation. (latimes.com) But what does that mean for the rest of us?

Image credits: The Associated Press

Well, it means that the world is trying to prevent runaway inflation from destroying our economies. While inflation can be a good thing in small doses, too much of it can lead to skyrocketing prices and economic instability. (apnews.com) So, central banks have been raising interest rates to discourage borrowing and slow down economic growth.

Image credits: Los Angeles Times

But here’s the catch. While we need to prevent inflation from getting out of control, we also need to avoid a recession. Too high interest rates can stall growth and drag economies into a recession. So, the strategy is a delicate balancing act.

The latest interest rate increase from the Bank of England marked its 13th hike in a row. Central banks in Norway, Switzerland, and Turkey have also raised borrowing rates. Even the United States Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Jerome H. Powell, has reiterated his belief that inflation is still too high and that further increases to rates may be necessary.

But what does all of this mean for you? Well, high-interest rates have already slowed down manufacturing and other parts of the US economy. They’ve also helped cause three high-profile failures in the US banking system. The banking industry remains under pressure, even after the federal government acted quickly to provide support.

In the housing industry, sales of previously occupied homes strengthened last month, exceeding economists’ expectations for a slide. (apnews.com) But the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits remained elevated last week, a possible sign that the Fed’s rate hikes are beginning to cool a surprisingly resilient labor market. (apnews.com)

So, should we be worried? It’s hard to say. While high-interest rates can cause short-term pain, they’re necessary to prevent long-term economic instability. But the strategy risks going too far and stalling growth. Economists and analysts have been warning that the US could slip into a recession before 2023 ends.

As an investor, it’s important to keep an eye on the market and any new economic data that could give us a better sense of how the Fed will proceed. The stock market has been “taking a little bit of a breather” following a five-week rally, but the big focus in the coming weeks will likely be any economic data, including a big report on inflation next week. (apnews.com)

In conclusion, the global interest rate hike is a delicate balancing act between preventing inflation and avoiding a recession. As individuals, we can only wait and watch, hoping that central banks worldwide get it right. (apnews.com) (apnews.com)


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