Oil prices, slowing economic growth in China and the Quantitative Easing programme in the Eurozone are the main economic influences affecting the global economy at present.
In the UK it is being widely reported that inflation will move into negative territory, however this is likely to be short lived. The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, is likely to report that inflation may return to the target rate of 2% faster than was anticipated. Aside from this there are few other economic indicators on which to report.
In the US, despite improvements in the economy, there is increasing concern surrounding the effect of deflation and corporate earnings estimates, which certain commentators are suggesting should not be ignored. However on the flip side of this, the US has enjoyed rising employment and earnings figures. The question arises; will a rosier employment/earnings picture encourage the Fed to start to normalise rates or will the commodity price induced reduction in inflation persuade the Fed to wait on a rate hike until later in the year? The Fed is due to report to Congress in March, which might indicate whether a rate rise in June is expected or whether they will delay this until later in the year.
Elsewhere the impact of falling inflation appears to have led to signs of a potential global currency war, which is supported by the announcement by many countries of a substantial change in monetary policy since the start of 2015. Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, European Central Bank, Canada, Japan, India, Denmark, Switzerland and many others have all made major monetary policy changes.