Global Market Commentary : March 2024

  • icon-jam26 March 2024
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Global Market Commentary : March 2024

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Federal Reserve officials have reiterated their intention to implement a total interest rate cut of 75 basis points within the current year. Additionally, the central bank has significantly revised upward its projections for the US economy, while noting that inflation is expected to be slightly higher than initially anticipated. Forecasts indicate that US GDP will expand by 2.1% this year, compared to The Fed’s previous estimate of 1.4%. Despite ongoing fluctuations, inflation is gradually progressing towards the Fed’s official target of 2%. Nevertheless, strong job growth and a low unemployment rate persist. Although the combination of robust economic expansion, low unemployment, and declining inflation is historically uncommon, The Fed seems to be navigating it successfully while aligning market expectations with its interest rate strategy.

During the March session of the China National People’s Congress, a target of approximately 5% GDP growth for 2024 was set, albeit without the unveiling of a significant stimulus package to achieve this goal. Premier Li Qiang’s emphasis on high-quality development, prioritizing areas such as technological self-reliance and economic security, underscores Beijing’s shift away from a singular pursuit of GDP growth. On a different note, the Bank of Japan has made a historic departure by terminating its era of negative interest rates, marking the first increase in borrowing costs since 2007 as the country moves past decades of deflation. The BoJ has announced its intention to maintain the overnight interest rate within a range of approximately zero to 0.1%, as opposed to the previous -0.1% range. Initially introduced in 2016 to incentivize increased lending by banks to stimulate spending and mitigate global economic slowdown risks, the negative interest rate policy has now been phased out. Moreover, workers at some of Japan’s largest companies have secured their largest pay raise since 1991, providing the BoJ with confidence that mild inflation will persist, a goal that has long been central to the central bank’s policies.


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Written by

Willy Gunawan

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