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Bank of England holds United Kingdom interest rates at 0.5%

Bank of England holds United Kingdom interest rates at 0.5%

Sterling on Friday headed for its fourth successive weekly decline versus the dollar, in what would be a first for the currency since 2015, after the Bank of England held rates and cut its economic growth projections.

Citing reasons for holding Bank Rate, the MPC noted that GDP growth fell to 0.1% in Q1 and that economic activity is "little changed".

The slowdown in the first three months of the year was one of two reasons why the Bank stayed pat.

The Bank of England is set to hold interest rates at 0.5% on Thursday as a sharp slowdown in economic growth is expected to put plans for a rise on the back burner.

Two members of the committee, Ian McCafferty and Michael Saunders, voted to increase rates to 0.75 per cent. The pound, which last month hit its highest level since the country voted to leave the European Union in June 2016, at $1.40, is faltering again.

In February, Mr Carney dropped what investors saw as firm hints that interest rates would be lifted today, encouraging them to bet on a hike this month.

There was bad news, however, for 2018, with the bank saying that it expects growth of just 1.4% in the United Kingdom this year, compared to 1.8% at its previous forecast.

Italian Cup final like World Cup for Gattuso's AC Milan
As the two sets of players shook hands, Buffon touched Donnarumma's face before whispering a message in his ear. Winning the Coppa Italia would have given the Rossoneri direct qualification into the Europa League.

The BOE governor spoke after officials kept the key interest rate at 0.5 percent, citing the first-quarter slump, and said inflation will weaken faster than previously thought. "With rates still rooted at emergency levels, this is one of the challenges faced by the Bank and how it chooses to deal with this will be key to the success of the United Kingdom economy in coming years".

"The signals from the Bank if you go back to before those outcomes was quite clear that they had the intention to hike". The decisions are made after a vote by each committee member; in the event of a tie, the governor has the casting vote.

"Those looking for interest rate movements should point their gaze to August and November as these meetings are accompanied by the quarterly inflation report".

Recent data "had been consistent with a temporary soft patch", most of the BoE's rate-setters said.

The Bank believes the economy has the potential to grow at about 1.5% a year but that demand will slightly exceed that limit in the coming years in the absence of a gentle increase in interest rates. The service-sector PMI increased, but by less than analysts had expected.

"The MPC will monitor these developments closely and react as appropriate to ensure that inflation returns sustainably to the 2% target consistent with its remit". "Survey indicators, and evidence from the Bank's (regional) agents, suggested that growth had been somewhat stronger in the first quarter than implied by the preliminary estimate".

"Given the recent weakness in consumer credit and the housing market, there was somewhat greater-than-usual uncertainty about the near-term momentum in consumer spending and the extent to which households would adjust their spending and saving to the past fall in their real incomes", the minutes said.


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