Monetary Policy Could Loosen

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    With the U.S. and UK likely tightening, other major economies are likely to loosen monetary policy or continue in a holding pattern, says Manulife Asset Management’s annual ‘Year Ahead’ report. The timing of a U.S. interest rate rise is uncertain, but its experts agree that it is unlikely to happen until the second half of 2015 at the earliest and possibly may be delayed until early 2016. Drawing together the individual views from its investment and economic teams on the ground in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and in 10 markets across Asia, the report addresses the outlook for 15 investment areas and asset classes ‒ including fixed income, equities, commodities, and asset allocation. Megan E. Greene, its chief economist, says “the year ahead is likely to see the global economy caught in a tug-of-war between a modest recovery in the U.S. on one hand and a slowdown in China and low-to-no-growth in Japan and Europe on the other. We expect these competing influences to keep global growth bumping along a baseline of around 2.5 per cent.” Accompanied online by an interactive map showing global growth and inflation forecasts as well as a video, the report is available at www.manulifeam.com