The shift under way in global monetary policy is more subtle evolution than revolution. For all the talk about a pivot toward higher interest rates, conditions are likely to remain relatively lax for years to come in the economies that matter most.

Central banks are unlikely to engage in new aggressive approaches to spurring growth and buttressing markets; the global expansion in 2021 is projected to be one of the strongest in decades after the worst showing in almost a century last year. That isn't the same thing as a consequential tightening. Any reversion to what constituted normal before the pandemic is years away, at a minimum. The three institutions that traditionally have dominated the policy landscape — the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and Bank of Japan — are going nowhere particularly fast. Even China, which didn't do as much in the teeth of recession, is proceeding cautiously.

See also: Welcome to the upside scenario: What to expect as global economies recover

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