Interest Rates globally are changing (in both directions) at the fastest pace ever in the history of the modern central banking system. Nearly half of the countries in the world have cut interest rates while the other half have hiked them in the past 6 months. The average change for countries with a change in interest rate has been +0.22% in the past 6 months. Take Argentina and Turkey out and the average (global) interest rate has actually fallen.
Are interest rates rising or falling globally? Well, if the past three months are anything to go by then the world is moving in different directions with regards to interest rates. So much for synchronized increases or decreases in interest rates …
What a difference a week makes, just last week everyone was talking about soaring bond yields. Investors are now seeking safety with developed economies bond yields falling significantly during the week.
Here are some 10-year bond yields, figures in brackets indicate change during the week.
We recently wrote about the impact of rising interest rates for UK households, read more about it here. We also wrote about the impact of higher bond yields for the US government, read more about it here.
Impact of higher interest rates for the UK Government
The UK government has around £1.72 trillion in debt and pays around £36 billion in interest payments a year (an effective interest rate of 2%).
The UK tax revenues are around £800 billion a year, which would mean 4.5% of all tax revenues are paid as interest. The UK has paid £540 billion in interest since it last ran a surplus in 2001.
The Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England meets on Thursday, May 10 to decide the direction of interest rates.
Following a weak UK Q1 2018 GDP growth of only 0.1%, the slowest since Q4 2012 (read here) and inflation falling from 2.7% in February to 2.5% in March (against a Bank of England target of 2%), the market is now pricing in a 17% of a rate rise in May. The market had factored in a 100% chance of a hike just a few weeks ago.
UK 10-year bond yields fell 5bps during the week. The 10-year bond now yields 1.4% (up 0.32% over the past year)