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Hiking rates early won’t mean catching a break later

Daniel Moss
Daniel Moss7/14/2022 02:05 PM GMT+08  • 5 min read
Hiking rates early won’t mean catching a break later
MAS unexpectedly strengthened the Singdollar on July 14, its fourth tightening since last October / Photo: The Edge Singapore
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Such is the determination these days to look tough on inflation that to even risk being portrayed as dovish is a stigma, regardless of merit.

The relentlessness with which many central banks are raising interest rates into a slowing global economy shows there is little reward in modest, albeit consistent, steps. No matter whether the officials in question were among the first to begin withdrawing pandemic-era stimulus. The consequent risks of overdoing it and being forced into an about-face and cutting in 2023 — or earlier — are mounting.

Two of the world’s earliest hikers, the Bank of Korea (BOK) and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), signalled no imminent letup in the battle against soaring prices. Nor did Singapore, which imports a lot of what it consumes and is acutely vulnerable to international economic trends.

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