NEW YORK CITY—Two central banks, two different directions in monetary policy. That was the study in contrasts observed by Ken McCarthy, Cushman & Wakefield‘s senior managing director for economic analysis & forecasting, following presentations last week by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank. The bottom result, McCarthy writes: “Interest rates are expected to rise this year in the US as the recovery gains momentum and are likely to decline in continental Europe as the need for stimulus remains and inflation continues to decline.”

Yellen accentuated the positive in her testimony before Congress’ Joint Economic Committee last Wednesday. “I expect that economic activity will expand at a somewhat faster pace this year than it did last year,” she testified, and although Yellen cited forces leading to uncertainty as well as tailwinds, her overall assessment, McCarthy wrote, was that “growth will be healthy enough for the Federal Reserve to continue steadily reducing its purchases of securities over the next several months.”

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