Currency analysts pay obsessive attention to economic factors that indicate the direction of interest rates, because interest rates represent the price of a currency. Any price change has a direct impact on the currency’s value. That can mean huge gains or losses for currency traders, but it also has a big impact on what savers earn, borrowers pay, consumers shell out for imported goods, and global companies plan in terms of compensation and hiring. In 2010, the stress on various currencies became clear, causing many central banks to push interest rates to record lows. Here’s a look at how those forces could play out in 2011 in six major regions of the world:
The Bank of England has practically abandoned its target of moving inflation down to 2 percent, saying it won't consider raising interest rates until unemployment falls below 7 percent, Karlsson writes. The move isn't likely to change much policy, but it is an explicit reminder that inflation rates have been above 3 percent since 2005.
New governor Mark Carney recently confirmed that Austen would appear on the 10-pound note, most likely beginning in 2017.