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Our latest global forecast, published today (free registration required), sees global growth expectations little changed from last month. However, rising inflationary pressures—fuelled by soaring commodity prices—will bring about interest rate hikes sooner than we previously expected.

Namely, the Bank of England is now expected to raise its policy rate in the second quarter of this year. Inflation in the UK has run above the central bank’s 2% target for 14 consecutive months, and we expect it to approach 5% in the next few months. The European Central Bank is now forecast to raise its benchmark rate in the first quarter of 2012, instead of later in the year, for similar reasons.

The US Federal Reserve, by contrast, will keep rates at rock-bottom levels until the second half of 2012.