Posts Tagged ‘Monetary Policy’

Bank of England must be wary of interest rate rise, says chief economist

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

The Bank of England

Andy Haldane says UK at risk of sharp slowdown as BoE weighs up conflicting forces of inflation from weak pound and the Brexit vote denting confidence. The Bank of England should be wary of rushing into interest rate rises to curb inflation, according to its chief economist, in a warning that the UK economy is vulnerable to a sharper slowdown next year than forecasts would suggest.

Andy Haldane said he was comfortable with the Bank’s current wait-and-see stance on borrowing costs as it weighs up the conflicting forces of a lower pound stoking inflation and the Brexit vote denting business confidence. In a bid to shore up confidence after the referendum, the Bank cut interest rates to a record low of 0.25% in August and expanded its programme of electronic money-printing, known as quantitative easing (QE). It had hinted at another interest rate cut before the end of the year but a flurry of brighter than expected economic news forced the Bank to row back on that guidance. Haldane said on Friday that economic output had outperformed the expectations of the Bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC) back in August while inflation had picked up, largely as a result of the pound’s sharp fall since the referendum, which makes imports to the UK more expensive. “That configuration now leaves me comfortable with the current stance of monetary policy, with no bias on the direction of the next move in interest rates,” he said.

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UK economy is braced for interesting times as Brexit phoney war end

Saturday, November 26th, 2016

Theresa May and Philip Hammond

The four months since the Brexit vote have been something of a phoney war. Life for most has trundled on just as before. The shops have been full. Employment has continued to rise. Britain is still the low pay, low productivity country it always was. If someone had left in early June and returned today without access to the news, they would never know there had been a referendum.

The release of the growth figures for the third quarter of 2016 on Thursday will reinforce the sense that not much has changed.

In August, the Bank of England expected the economy to almost stall but it has had second thoughts in the light of more upbeat data. The consensus in the City is for growth of 0.3-0.4%, down on the second quarter but hardly a disaster.

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