Macroeconomic & Geopolitical

Markets Paging Dr. Powell

March 2020 – 3 min read
Awaiting details of likely U.K. and U.S. fiscal stimulus packages and next week’s ECB meeting, following an unexpected inter meeting rate cut by the Federal Reserve and decisions on oil production from OPEC+.


Arrows indicate consensus forecast compared to the previous period. Local dates of release.


  • Inflation measures are likely to remain tempered in February, giving the FOMC more wherewithal to be accommodative. Along with the first intermeeting rate cut since 2008, the FOMC signaled it will act to support the economy. Despite the 50 bps cut, real yields are less than zero and markets are pricing in another cut in March.
  • With Super Tuesday narrowing the race to Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, this week’s Democratic primary elections will show who is gaining more momentum. So far, markets are more at ease with the prospect of a Biden nominee versus Sanders.


  • The U.K. 2020 budget is set to be announced on March 11. Markets expect to see solid fiscal stimulus measures, especially as the economy faces COVID-19.
  • The ECB monetary policy meeting is garnering attention as markets expect accommodative policy action to support the economy amid the outbreak. However, given the possibility of fiscal measures being prepared, it is uncertain whether or not they will deliver a rate cut.

Asia Pacific

  • China’s inflation is likely to come in weak in February, and pressure is mounting for the PBOC to cut rates along with other central banks.

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Christopher Smart, PhD, CFA

Chief Global Strategist & Head of the Barings Investment Institute

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