The European Central Bank (ECB) could be prompted to raise interest rates sooner than planned against a backdrop of inflation and divergent monetary policy, according to Allianz’s Chief Economic Advisor, Mohamed El-Erian.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if they (the ECB) start hiking in the middle of summer (2019), as opposed to the end of the summer, or even the beginning of the summer. But they’re going to retain optionality ’til the very last moment,” El-Erian told CNBC’s Nancy Hungerford Tuesday.
El-Erian, a prominent economist and one-time CEO and co-CIO of bond giant PIMCO, said the interest rate policies of central banks were diverging quickly. The Federal Reserve has already embarked on rate hikes amid robust U.S. economic growth while the euro zone’s central bank, the ECB, is approaching rate hikes with caution. It has yet to increase rates with the 19-country euro zone still showing signs of regional weakness, and vulnerable to mounting global trade tensions.
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