BCC comments on Bank of England's 'Super Thursday'

Aug 06, 2017, 00:50
BCC comments on Bank of England's 'Super Thursday'

The rise in prices sits alongside weak average earnings growth in the country, reducing the chances of a rate hike from the BoE this year that would mirror the policy of monetary tightening in the United States. The projection for 2017 growth in gross domestic product was cut to 1.7% from 1.9%, and reduced to 1.6% from 1.7% for 2018.

In its closely watched trio of releases - its rate decision, monetary policy statement and quarterly inflation report - the United Kingdom central bank said economic growth and wages remain sluggish in the near term because of uncertainty over the U.K.'s exit from the European Union. The pound GBPUSD, -0.7108% tumbled to $1.3119 after having trading as high as $1.3267 earlier in the day.

THE BANK of England has revised down growth forecasts for the United Kingdom as it held interest rates yet again this month.

The vote was 6-2 for no change, with Michael Saunders and Ian McCafferty voting in favour of a rate hike. Perhaps some had seen the BOE raising rates.

On Thursday, the Bank said it saw GDP growth of 1.7 per cent this year, down from the 1.9 per cent it projected in May.

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Policymakers this week kept rates on hold, with just two of the eight MPC members voting for a rise.

MPC members judged that inflation was not far enough above target to warrant an increase in rates, noting that "attempting to offset fully the effect of weaker sterling on inflation would be achievable only at the cost of higher unemployment and, in all likelihood, even weaker income growth".

This comes at a time when United Kingdom households are already seeing their purchasing power diminish as a result of the weakening sterling following last year's vote to exit the European Union blog of nations.

The report is expected to show employment climbed by 183,000 jobs in July, while the unemployment rate is expected to dip to 4.3 percent.

Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney said uncertainty regarding Brexit was a factor: "It is evident that uncertainties about the eventual relationship are weighing on the decisions of some business".

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"The MPC said given the other assumptions in its forecast it thought probably there would need to be rate rises, and indeed more rate rises than those priced into the interest rate curve in future than the financial markets expect".

'GDP growth had been sluggish and was expected to remain so in the near term.

In broad terms, the Bank's inflation forecasts remained similar to the last set: the CPI rate is set to rise to close to 3% in the coming months, and will remain above its 2% target all the way through to 2020.

It is expected that inflation, which is also referred to as CPIH in the United Kingdom, will increase by 0.1% in the third quarter to 2.7% and predicted to reach 3% in October 2017.

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