Currency News – April 30, 2015

Whatever the result of Election 2015, financial experts are predicting bank base rates will start moving up by the end of next year.

A gentle period of no inflation in the UK and USA is holding down rates, but this is expected to disappear and move back into the low inflation within a few months, says a survey by news portal Reuters.

The Federal Reserve has already pegged base rates in the USA for another month, while the Bank of England has followed their lead and kept the official bank rate pegged at 0.5% for another four weeks.

The survey of economists fell in favour of base rate increases late in 2016, but many held out for a spring 2017 rate rise.

“In general, the people we spoke to expect inflation to remain around zero and moderate for the next year and then to gradually rise,” said a Reuters spokesman.

Gentle rise

“Economists then expect to see interest rates to gently rise alongside inflation.

“It is difficult to forecast when and these economists are just figures plucked out of the air based on experience.”

With no inflation and no base rate rises, then two-year fixed rates offered for expat savers look reasonably attractive.

The best offshore fixed rate is 1.69% with Permanent Bank on a deposit of at least £20,000.

The bank’s 18-month rate also looks attractive, at 1.67% on the same terms as the two-year fix and only 0.02% cheaper.

Conister Bank and Skipton International offer 2% plus deals over three years – but the risk is savers could lose some cash if rates rise earlier.

Pound v dollar

Skipton pays 2.2% on £10,000 put away for three years, while Conister returns 2% on £10,000 over the same term.

Many of the other rates look decidedly conservative, as lenders sit on the fence and play wait and see with the election and interest rates.

Privately, many are hoping Labour do not win, but the Tories hold power with a moderating force like the Lib Dems in a coalition.

In the currency stakes, the US dollar is expected to strengthen during the year as the American economy picks up steam and powers on.

Currency experts are talking about the best scenario for the British Pound being a $1.50 to the pound, but many talk about $1.40 – $1.45.

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