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Global inflation intensifies with higher consumption, energy prices: Fitch

North American economies expected to grow strongly in 2022, agency says

Global inflation has intensified in recent months with consumption growth, high energy prices, shortages of goods and supply-chain bottlenecks, Fitch Ratings said Tuesday.

Annual inflation rates in many of the world’s largest economies have climbed to their highest levels in decades, the rating agency said in a statement.

“The US stands out among the major developed economies, with a larger increase in consumer spending on durable goods, a bigger rise in core consumer goods prices and clearer evidence of rising services and wage inflation,” it added.

Consumer inflation in the US hit 6.8% in November year-on-year, its highest annual increase in 39 years.

The eurozone also recorded its highest inflation rate since its monetary union at 4.9%, with Germany’s inflation climbing to 5.2% a 29-year high, it noted.

While emerging markets have also seen very sharp inflation increases in recent months, inflation generally remained low in large Asian economies, it added.

The agency said central banks in some emerging economies have tightened their monetary policies, with rate hikes seen in Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Poland and South Africa in the past two months.

North America to grow strongly in 2022

Fitch said in a separate statement that it expects North American economies to grow strongly in 2022.

“The US and Canadian economies will both grow above trend in 2022, powered by strong labor markets, improved household balance sheets and business investment,” it said.

“Fiscal and monetary policies will tighten in 2022. Overall fiscal policy will be contractionary as pandemic relief spending is withdrawn, although 2022 deficits will exceed pre-pandemic levels in Canada and the US,” it added.

The agency said it expects the US Federal Reserve to taper its asset purchases through June 2022 before raising interest rates gradually.

Canada is on course to start raising rates earlier in 2022, while it had announced to end its asset purchases in October, it noted.

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