ECB Member Says Global Uncertainty Impacted Fed Timing

Global economic uncertainties might have impacted the timing of a U.S. interest rate rise but the market continues to expect the Fed to act, European Central Bank council member Erkki Liikanen said on Saturday.

The U.S. Federal Reserve left rates unchanged at near-zero levels on Thursday, postponing a widely expected hike due to “less certain” global economic outlook.

“There has been uncertainty globally which perhaps has an impact on timing, but surely the market expects the Fed to act sooner or later,” Liikanen said in an interview with public broadcaster YLE.

Asked about why the Fed was pressured to increase rates, Liikanen noted that the U.S. economy had strengthened consistently for some time.

“Unemployment has declined and the number of open work positions has increased. In a certain time frame, when capacity becomes fully utilized, acceleration of inflation is obvious,” he said.

“Because of this, central banks usually aim to act beforehand.”


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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza