Global central banks are set to spend 2022 diverging, as some take on the menace of inflation and others stay focused on boosting economic growth.

The pandemic remains a risk to demand the world over, but after triggering a recession in 2020, its subsequent igniting of price pressures has also posed a challenge for monetary policy makers.

They enter a new year having to tread carefully. Acting quickly to control prices could end up quashing expansions, especially if inflation fades anyway.

Waiting longer to secure recoveries might mean inflation festers, requiring stronger action later.

Increasingly rattled by the outlook, the Federal Reserve is set to hike interest rates for the first time since 2018, although its peers in Canada and the U.K. may shift even sooner. 

Thirteen counterparts tracked here are also seen tightening, including most of the emerging market institutions that led the charge with rate hikes in 2021.

By contrast, the European Central Bank and Bank of Japan could end the year where they started, with rates at rock-bottom levels as they try to safeguard growth.

As for China, it’s seen cutting its benchmark as officials try to cushion a slowdown in the world’s No. 2 economy.

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What Bloomberg Economics Says:

“In 2022, the great decoupling that has already hit trade, finance and technology will come to central banking -- with the Fed rushing into a tightening cycle even as the People’s Bank of China starts to add stimulus. A world divided into separate spheres of monetary influence -- with Asian central banks dragged into the orbit of the PBOC -- will be an important new dynamic for markets to navigate.”

--Tom Orlik, chief economist

Here is Bloomberg’s quarterly guide to 23 of the world’s top central banks, covering 90 per cent of the world economy:


U.S. Federal Reserve

  • Current federal funds rate (upper bound): 0.25 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2022: 1 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2023: 2 per cent

Jerome Powell

Fed Chair Jerome Powell and his colleagues could raise rates as soon as March as they confront the hottest inflation in nearly 40 years, although omicron may be grounds for delay.

The U.S. central bank accelerated its removal of policy support to end bond buying by mid March and Governor Chris Waller said Dec. 17 that their policy meeting that month was definitely “live” for liftoff, depending on the fallout of the new COVID-19 variant on the economy.

Officials penciled in three quarter-point rate increases this year in their latest forecasts, with inflation declining and the jobless rate falling to around 3.5 per cent by the end of 2022.

What Bloomberg Economics Says:

“The question that remains is when liftoff will begin. We expect a first rate hike in 1H 22, and depending on the growth disruption of omicron, that could occur as early as the March meeting. Biden’s potential nominees for filling the three open seats at the Fed board will unlikely change the rates outlook for 2022, though would likely tilt policies dovish in 2023.”

--Anna Wong

European Central Bank

  • Current deposit rate: -0.5 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2022: -0.5 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2023: -0.5 per cent

Christine Lagarde

The ECB will start unwinding its pandemic policy measures in 2022, with net bond-buying under its emergency program to slow in January before ending in March. There’ll be a temporary boost to regular asset purchases and flexibility in reinvesting maturing debt to try to reassure investors that financing conditions won’t tighten too soon.

Inflation in the 19-nation euro area is expected to fall back below the 2 per cent goal in 2023 and stay there in 2024 despite strong economic growth, though some Governing Council members have started to warn against ignoring upside risks. President Christine Lagarde has said rate increases are still “very unlikely” this year -- but also that she’s prepared to change her mind should consumer prices rise more quickly than expected.

What Bloomberg Economics Says:

“The ECB is caught between a price shock and a slowing recovery. However, the slack in the labor market will limit underlying price pressures and cause the current bout of high inflation to be transitory. That should allow the Governing Council to continue buying bonds until 3Q23.”

--David Powell

Bank of Japan

  • Current policy-rate balance: -0.1 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2022: -0.1 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2023: 0 per cent

Haruhiko Kuroda

Governor Haruhiko Kuroda enters his last full year at the helm insisting that the BOJ is nowhere near normalizing policy. The BOJ will reduce corporate debt purchases at the end of March as it takes gradual steps to pare back pandemic support. But stimulus will stay in place even as the rest of the world frets about reining in accelerating prices, Kuroda has indicated.

Still, the outlook in Japan is not crystal clear. While the country’s key inflation gauge remains barely above zero as firms continue to absorb higher costs, the price index could jump in the spring once the impact of sharply lower phone fees drops out of calculations. That could give Prime Minister Fumio Kishida food for thought as he considers new candidates for the BOJ policy board.

What Bloomberg Economics Says:

“The BOJ has tried in vain for years to stoke inflation in Japan -- it’s probably wishing some of the consumer price pressures that are vexing other central banks would show up a little in Japan. We don’t see that happening soon, at least in any substantial way. We expect the BOJ to stay on cruise control through 2022, while gradually shifting its focus from pandemic-related support to back to generating 2 per cent inflation, complementing is existing tools with the new green lending program.”

--Yuki Masujima

BOJ Board Is United on Fighting COVID Crisis

Bank of England

  • Current bank rate: 0.25 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2022: 0.75 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2023: 1 per cent

Andrew Bailey

Britain is the biggest economy yet to shift toward controlling inflation and away from stimulating growth, and 2022 looks set to be an unusually exciting year both for policy makers and investors. Traders are betting the BOE will deliver the sharpest series of rate increases in three decades and also that those moves will constitute a painful policy mistake.

Officials led by Governor Andrew Bailey are spearheading a sharp response to inflation, which they forecast will top 6 per cent, triple the BOE’s target. Investors anticipate another rate rise to 0.5 per cent in February, a threshold where officials could then allow government bonds maturing in their 875-billion pound (US$1.2 trillion) asset-purchase program to roll out of the portfolio. 

The market sees the base rate reaching 1 per cent by November, which is where the BOE has indicated it would consider selling gilts to tighten policy. That jars with an outlook for slower growth and increased trade friction following Britain’s exit from the European Union. The one certainty: Some investors have got it wrong. 

What Bloomberg Economics Says:

“The BOE faces a delicate balance in 2022. Inflation is set to head higher, squeezing real incomes and acting as a brake on growth. At the same time, the central bank is worried that soaring prices and a tight labor market could interact to lift inflation expectations. Our base case is that price stability remains the BOE’s primary focus with the policy rate ending the year at 0.75 per cent.”

--Dan Hanson

Bank of Canada

  • Current overnight lending rate: 0.25 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2022: 1 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2023: 2 per cent

Investors are betting the Bank of Canada will begin a hiking cycle in the first quarter of 2022 that will be one of the most aggressive among advanced economies. Markets are pricing in five increases, taking the benchmark rate to 1.5 per cent.

Policy makers will be racing to withdraw stimulus in an economy where employment has already blown past pre-pandemic levels and higher commodity prices have stoked income gains. Another concern: low borrowing costs have created a housing affordability crisis, with home values up a record 25 per cent over the past year.

What Bloomberg Economics Says:

“The BoC’s renewed framework puts more focus on employment conditions than in the past. The added emphasis does not mean near-5 per cent inflation will be tolerated for long. Our baseline is for a measured start to tightening, beginning in April. We see three 25 bps hikes in 2022 -- less than markets expect -- but a higher endpoint in 2023, at 2 per cent.”

--Andrew Husby


People’s Bank of China

  • Current 1-year medium-term lending rate: 2.95 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2022: 2.75 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2023: 2.65 per cent

China changed its policy in the last quarter of 2021, reacting to a housing crisis and the slowing economy by boosting liquidity and guiding lending rates lower. That looser stance is set to continue into 2022, widening its divergence with much of the rest of the world.

China faces an important year for politics, with the Communist Party meeting in the second half of 2022 to decide on the nation’s leadership. That meeting expected to extend President Xi Jinping’s rule for another five years. The government has clearly indicated it values stability above all else in economic planning ahead of that, with economists now predicting more fiscal spending and additional monetary stimulus.

What Bloomberg Economics Says:

“We expect further monetary easing in 2022, including another 100 bps of cuts in the required reserve ratio and 20 bps of reductions in the PBOC’s one-year medium-term lending facility rate, the base for the Loan Prime Rate. Aggressive loosening is unlikely -- production remains relatively stable and the PBOC is probably keen to avoid inflating asset prices.”

--David Qu

Reserve Bank of India

  • Current RBI repurchase rate: 4 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2022: 4.25 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2023: 5 per cent

Shaktikanta Das

The Reserve Bank of India will likely go slow on returning policy settings to pre-pandemic levels to ensure a durable economic recovery, even as central banks across the world grapple with high inflation.

That stance could surprise occasional India market-watchers given RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das’s appeal for coordinated policy action in response to the pandemic. In his defense, he didn’t call for moving in lockstep on tackling inflation, and more importantly he has the forex reserve buffers needed to stem any impact of U.S. normalization. Still, there’s pressure even from within the central bank to start shifting policy to curbing inflation.

What Bloomberg Economics Says:

“The RBI’s rebalancing of surplus liquidity from overnight fixed reverse repo window to variable rate reverse repo auctions has significantly pushed up money market rates in December and signals a reverse repo rate hike is likely coming in February. In our view this reflects RBI’s endeavor to exercise greater control over the liquidity overhang in the system, rather than the start of a rate hike cycle. We expect the RBI to keep the repo rate -- its main policy lever -- on hold at a low 4.0 per cent until 3Q22 in an effort to engender a more durable recovery in the economy.”

--Abhishek Gupta

Central Bank of Brazil

  • Current Selic target rate: 9.25 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2022: 11.5 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2023: 9 per cent

Roberto Campos Neto

Brazil ended 2021 on a very hawkish note: After unleashing one of the world’s most aggressive monetary tightening campaign and seeing the economy slip into recession last year, it pledged an additional hike of 150 basis points for February and said rates would stay higher for longer until inflation expectations return to target.

Yet consumer prices are estimated to have soared about 10 per cent last year, nearly three times the institution’s goal, and economists continue to see them rising above target through 2023. While much of the increases have been driven by shocks that are little affected by monetary policy, central bank chief Roberto Campos Neto has voiced concerns about second-round effects in a country with a history of hyperinflation.

What Bloomberg Economics Says:

“We expect additional rate hikes in February and March, bringing the policy rate to 11.5 per cent -- a level at which it will likely remain through the end of the year, as the BCB waits to see the lagged and cumulative effects of the massive rate hikes introduced by then.”

--Adriana Dupita

Bank of Russia

  • Current key rate: 8.5 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2022: 7.5 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2023: 5.5 per cent

Elvira Nabiullina

The Bank of Russia raised its benchmark rate by a full percentage point to 8.5 per cent on Dec. 17, bringing the total amount of increases to 425 basis points this year, and warned more monetary tightening may be needed.

Inflation reached 8.39 per cent in December, twice the central bank’s target. While officials says many of the factors driving that are short-term ones like a slow harvest, the fast pace of cost increases has fed into the highest expectations for prices in six years. That, combined with accelerating wage growth, has the central bank worried about an inflationary spiral. 

What Bloomberg Economics Says:

“The Bank of Russia’s tightening cycle is near an end, if it’s not over already. Policy makers have signaled a willingness to hike rates further to rein in inflation expectations. But with price pressure likely to fade into the new year, that probably won’t be necessary. An extended hold should be enough, perhaps even allowing for easing late in 2022 as inflation slows toward the target.”

--Scott Johnson

South African Reserve Bank

  • Current repo average rate: 3.75 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2022: 4.75 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2023: 5.75 per cent

Lesetja Kganyago

South Africa could pause its rate-hiking cycle as risks to economic growth posed by a fourth wave of coronavirus infections temporarily outweigh inflation concerns.

Economists predict international travel bans, imposed on South Africa after its discovery of the omicron variant, risk stalling the country’s economic recovery. That could force officials to rethink the pace of future policy.

When the central bank raised its benchmark in November, the implied path of its quarterly projection model indicated one 25-basis point rate hike in each of the next 12 quarters. Governor Lesetja Kganyago has long maintained that that’s a broad policy guide and that future decisions will be data dependent.

What Bloomberg Economics Says:

“Our base case sees the SARB going forward with its planned rate hikes. Policy makers could decide to pause the rate hiking cycle at their January 2022 meeting on omicron growth worries, but the bigger risk in our view is more aggressive rate hikes. This reflects expectations of higher U.S. rates, upside inflation risks and market concerns that the SARB is falling behind the emerging curve.”

--Boingotlo Gasealahwe


Banco de Mexico

  • Current overnight rate: 5.5 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2022: 5.75 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2023: 6.25 per cent

Mexico’s surprising decision to speed up the pace of monetary tightening in December left investors wondering whether policy makers will keep removing stimulus more aggressively as they seek to rein in above-target inflation expectations. While outgoing Governor Alejandro Diaz de Leon said the central bank isn’t committed to additional rate hikes of 50 basis points, many economists consider it difficult for the institution to return to its previous pace of quarter-point increases.

Adding uncertainty to future monetary policy decisions is the new central bank governor, picked by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in November after he unexpectedly retracted his previous nominee. Victoria Rodriguez Ceja, who took the reins of the institution known as Banxico on Jan. 1, will have to dispel fears of possible government meddling in the institution while proving she’s up to the task of fighting inflation that’s running at the fastest pace in 20 years.

What Bloomberg Economics Says:

“We expect policy makers to deliver three more hikes of 50 bps each in February, March and May in 2022 and pause when inflation peaks in the first half. The real rate in the higher end of the 1.8 per cent-3.4 per cent range the central bank estimates is neutral.

Inflation is likely to moderate thereafter but remain uncomfortably high. Along with tighter monetary policy in the U.S., that limits room for Banxico to consider cutting rates to support growth. Victoria Rodriguez Ceja replaces Alejandro Diaz de Leon in January, raising uncertainty.”

--Felipe Hernandez

Bank Indonesia

  • Current 7-day reverse repo rate: 3.5 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2022: 4 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2023: 4.75 per cent

Perry Warjiyo

The new year marks a pivot for Bank Indonesia as it shifts its monetary policy stance to “pro-stability” after being “pro-growth” for most of 2021. As the Fed picks up the pace of its tightening cycle, Indonesia -- one of the hardest-hit emerging markets during the last taper -- ruled out further rate cuts, pledged to defend the rupiah’s stability, and readied a US$15.5 billion bond-buying program to brace for heavy fund outflows.

Still, Governor Perry Warjiyo said the central bank will not be pressured to tighten policy simply because the Fed is doing so. The record-low rate will only be hiked once Bank Indonesia sees worrying signs of inflation, which is expected to accelerate but remain within target in 2022. Lending measures will also be used to support the economic recovery.

What Bloomberg Economics Says:

“Bank Indonesia has signaled the next adjustment in its policy rate is likely to be up, but this will be preceded by the gradual withdrawal of excess liquidity. Risks are rising it may move sooner, rather than late 2022 as initially suggested. With the Fed’s rates liftoff drawing closer, BI may need to hike as soon as 2Q to support the rupiah.”

--Tamara Henderson

Central Bank of Turkey

  • Current 1-week repo rate: 14 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2022: 23 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2023: 17 per cent

Sahap Kavcioglu

Turkey’s central bank, led by Governor Sahap Kavcioglu, said it was wrapping up its cycle of rate cuts after delivering the latest 100-basis-point reduction in December.

Powered by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s unorthodox ideas, the monetary authority has lowered the benchmark by 500 basis points since September, a period when most of its counterparts were mulling or rolling out increases to tame price pressures.

The recent rate reductions sent real yields deeper into negative territory, while consumer inflation now exceeds 30 per cent. The cuts drove down the lira, which recouped some of its losses after Erdogan announced a slew of measures intended to suppress retail investors’ demand for dollars.

What Bloomberg Economics Says:

“The recent lowering of rates in Turkey will probably result in significant tightening next year, despite Erdogan’s verbal attacks. The inflation-adjusted policy rate is deeply negative -- much lower than other emerging markets and historical norms. We estimate lira stabilization will require hikes of at least 900 bps.”

--Ziad Daoud

Turkey’s Real Interest Rate Well Below Peers

Central Bank of Nigeria

  • Current central bank rate: 11.5 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2022: 13.5 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2023: 13.5 per cent

Godwin Emefiele

Nigeria will likely keep its key rate on hold in the first quarter to bolster the recovery of an economy hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic and the collapse in the price of oil, its main export, in 2020. Slowing inflation should support leaving policy unchanged.

Governor Godwin Emefiele signaled last month that the monetary policy committee’s existing stance should “continue for a little longer” to stabilize prices and buttress economic growth.

Nigeria’s economic recovery is expected to gather pace in 2022, especially in the second half, when current OPEC quotas expire. The faster expansion, combined with the need to attract capital flows as developed markets starting tightening policy, is likely to lead officials to start hiking later in the year.

What Bloomberg Economics Says:

“Nigeria’s inflation remains above target, but the central bank has made it clear it wants to see a solid recovery before it raises rates. We don’t see this condition being met until the second half of next year. The recovery remains fragile, with a slow vaccination rollout program and oil supply disruptions posing downside risks to growth.”

--Boingotlo Gasealahwe


Bank of Korea

  • Current base rate: 1 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2022: 1.25 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2023: 1.5 per cent

Lee Ju-yeol

The Bank of Korea’s moves to normalize policy are likely to continue this year, though the timing and pace of future rate hikes remain uncertain with Governor Lee Ju-yeol’s term ending in March.

Two rate increases since August 2021 have helped ease financial imbalances that prompted the BOK to hike earlier than most in the region, but inflation has emerged as a new and dominant concern. Both the central bank and the government see price growth topping the BOK’s 2 per cent target again in 2022. While that supports the case for further tightening, the economy’s outlook is clouded by a record surge in virus cases.

What Bloomberg Economics Says:

“The Bank of Korea is entering 2022 with a focus on reining in inflation, which ended 2021 well above the central bank’s 2 per cent target. Though omicron is adding uncertainty to the outlook, the BOK’s recent rhetoric suggests concerns on prices are likely to outweigh those on growth. That should pave the way for another rate hike in 1Q.”

--Justin Jimenez

Reserve Bank of Australia

  • Current cash rate target: 0.1 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2022: 0.1 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2023: 0.1 per cent

Philip Lowe

Australia’s central bank will review its AUS$4 billion (US$2.8 billion) a week bond-buying program at its first meeting in February. There are three options: taper and end purchases in May; taper and review again in May; or scrap immediately. While the economy is recovering rapidly, uncertainty remains around the omicron variant of coronavirus. As a result, the consensus view is the RBA will taper in February and end the program in May, a couple of months after the Fed winds up its own bond purchases.

All attention then turns to interest rates. The RBA has dismissed market pricing for three hikes this year, arguing wages won’t be rising fast enough to return inflation to target in such a short time. Yet the job market is recovering quickly and price pressures may be in the offing, prompting markets to view the RBA’s timeline of liftoff in late 2023 as likely to put it behind the curve.

What Bloomberg Economics Says: 

“There’s a good chance the RBA could end its bond purchase program as soon as February 2022, despite the surge in cases as the omicron variant spreads rapidly throughout Australia. While an early end to bond purchases may be on the cards, rate hikes remain a long way off amid concerns inflation is unlikely to be sustained within the target band thanks to persistently weak wage growth.” 

--James McIntyre

Central Bank of Argentina

  • Current rate floor: 38 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2022: 43 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2023: 33 per cent

Miguel Pesce

Argentina’s central bank is considering increasing borrowing costs for the first time in over a year as the International Monetary Fund calls for the key rate to exceed inflation. The benchmark Leliq currently stands at 38 per cent, while consumer prices have been soaring 51 per cent a year.

Monetary policy will take center stage this year as President Alberto Fernandez seeks to renegotiate the nation’s program with the IMF. The lender is calling for an “appropriate” policy that includes less money printing to finance government spending. Argentina’s dwindling foreign reserves remain an area of concern as major payments to the IMF loom in 2022.

What Bloomberg Economics Says:

“The days of negative real rates in Argentina appear to be numbered: the IMF indicated recently that any new deal with the country will require bringing real rates back to positive territory. However, with the nod to a ‘multipronged’ approach to tackle inflation, and with capital controls still in place, it seems unlikely that the real rate will revisit the double-digits it saw during the first quarters under the previous IMF program. 

We believe that the rate may rise to 50 per cent at the beginning of a new IMF-endorsed program, gradually declining over the year as current and expected inflation both (slowly) recede.”

--Adriana Dupita


Swiss National Bank

  • Current policy rate: -0.75 per cent
  • Median economist forecast for end of 2022: -0.75 per cent
  • Median economist forecast for end of 2023: -0.75 per cent

Thomas Jordan

With euro-area officials showing no signs of raising rates, the Swiss National Bank is all but sure to keep its own benchmark rate at a historic low in 2022. Thanks to the franc’s appreciation against the euro, SNB officials can take a far more sanguine stance regarding inflation than their peers in Britain or the U.S. They see consumer prices rising by just 1 per cent next year and 0.6 per cent in 2023.

The central bank is set to get a new rate setter in its three-member governing board, with Fritz Zurbruegg scheduled to retire at the end of July. 

Sveriges Riksbank

  • Current repo rate: 0 per cent
  • Median economist forecast for end of 2022: 0 per cent
  • Median economist forecast for end of 2023: 0 per cent

Stefan Ingves

The Riksbank is treading cautiously on the road to normalization, wary of repeating the mistake it made when it started tightening too soon after the global financial crisis. At the moment, the Swedish central bank isn’t expecting to have to raise its rate until 2024, and policy makers still believe that the current bout of inflation will be largely transitory.

At the same time, tension is brewing over the asset-purchase program that was the Riksbank’s main tool to support the economy through the pandemic. The official line is that the central bank will keep the size of its balance sheet unchanged through 2022 by compensating for redemptions, but three of its six executive board members have indicated that they wouldn’t mind reducing the portfolio sooner.

Norges Bank

  • Current deposit rate: 0.5 per cent
  • Median economist forecast for end of 2022: 1.25 per cent
  • Median economist forecast for end of 2023: 1.5 per cent

Oystein Olsen

Norway aims to continue its rate hikes, “most likely” in March with a 25 basis-point increase to 0.75 per cent after raising borrowing costs last month despite uncertainty linked to a new coronavirus outbreak. The Norges Bank also lifted its rate path from 2023, upholding a hawkish stance that has seen it unwind pandemic support well before many rich peers.

The country has weathered the crisis better than most, cushioned with the help of unprecedented fiscal stimulus backed by the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund. The recovery has exceeded the central bank’s own projections, with job vacancies setting records and wage expectations soaring as energy-driven inflation hits the fastest pace in 13 years.

The central bank is set to get a new chief, with Oystein Olsen unexpectedly leaving the institution at the end of February after serving as governor for more than a decade.

Reserve Bank of New Zealand

  • Current cash rate: 0.75 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2022: 1.5 per cent
  • Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2023: 1.75 per cent

Adrian Orr

With two rate hikes already in the bag, the RBNZ begins 2022 well ahead of most other institutions in the removal of pandemic stimulus. At 4.9 per cent, inflation is above the top of the central bank’s 1-3 per cent target band and forecast to accelerate further, while unemployment is at a 14-year low of 3.4 per cent. Accordingly, the RBNZ has signaled a tightening cycle that will take the cash rate to about 2 per cent by the of the year. 

But there are plenty of risks to the outlook, not least New Zealand’s late transition to having to live with COVID-19 in the community and the emergence of the omicron variant. For now, the economy continues to surprise on the upside and outperform most of its peers, suggesting the central bank will need to keep tightening policy to contain mounting price pressures. Its next opportunity to do so is Feb. 23.

What Bloomberg Economics Says:

“Further rate hikes from the RBNZ are a near certainty over 2022, but the extent of monetary policy tightening projected by the RBNZ is unlikely to be realized. While New Zealand’s labor market remains incredibly tight behind closed borders, we think the RBNZ will only deliver half of the 150 basis points of increases projected for 2022. As borders reopen we see a recovery in labor supply partially easing skill shortages, capping the potential for pockets of wage pressures morph into a generalized wage-inflation spiral. Additionally, policy tightening to date has already delivered a significant lift in interest rates faced by borrowers, which should help cool the hot housing market.” 

--James McIntyre

National Bank of Poland

  • Current cash rate: 2.25 per cent
  • Median economist forecast for end of 2022: 2.75 per cent

Adam Glapinski

Governor Adam Glapinski kicked off the 2022 with a fourth consecutive interest-rate increase since October to rein in spiraling inflation. The central bank is far from done with price increases expected to peak only around the middle of the year.

Glapinski has come under fire for letting inflation surge to the fastest pace in two decades. The IMF has warned that the Polish economy could overheat. Drastic power and gas cost increases from the beginning of the year are likely to add to inflation. It’s a tricky balancing act for Glapinski and one that could determine whether he stays on for another six years when his current term expires in mid-2022.

Czech National Bank

  • Current cash rate: 3.75 per cent
  • Median economist forecast for end of 2022: 4 per cent

Jiri Rusnok

The Czech central bank, which was among the world’s first to challenge the view that inflation was transitory, has pledged to continue its aggressive monetary-policy tightening in 2022 after lifting the main rate by 3.5 percentage points since June.

The country is facing “an extraordinary combination of very strong inflation pressures” and the central bank wants to prevent rising wage demands in the overheating labor market, Governor Jiri Rusnok said after a full percentage-point rate hike on Dec. 22. With annual price growth expected to accelerate to more than 7 per cent in the first months of 2022, Rusnok said rates will have to rise above 4 per cent to bring inflation under control.