United Kingdom central bank defends change of mind on rates

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Interest rate rises should only be very gradual once they do start.

The Bank of England has backed away from raising interest rates following a sharp slowdown in growth.

President Trump's decision Tuesday to pull the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal hasn't had much effect on United States dollar's strength thus far.

It's not the first time that Carney has flagged up a rate hike only to pull back, which has prompted some to tag him an "unreliable boyfriend".

Economists had previously expected two rises in 2018 after the Bank's February forecasts, when Governor Mark Carney said rates would need to rise further and faster to rein in inflation.


Levels of monthly and annual inflation are expected to have risen; such results could greatly raise confidence among U.S. dollar traders and spark a United States dollar pound rate rise.

After a week of waiting, the Bank of England (BoE) interest rate decision will finally be taking place today. "This is not an economy that is growing at robust rates", but growth in demand was still likely to outstrip growth in supply over the Bank's rate horizon.

Markets are already factoring a delay in interest rates hike, with the pound falling this week to a four-month low.

Investec Economics experts predict the Monetary Policy Committee will vote 7-2 to hold rates, with Ian McCafferty and Michael Saunders likely to be the only dissenters following their call for a rise to 0.75% in March.

Today's main United States data will be high-impact inflation rate stats for April, out during the afternoon. Others suggest there are concerns over decelerating foreign investment.


Cheetham said that hike "now appears to have been more a case of a reversal of the post-Brexit cut rather than the beginning of a sustained cycle of interest rate increases".

Data published on Thursday showed industrial output inched up by 0.1 percent month-on-month in March, the same pace as in February and slightly below the consensus for growth of 0.2 percent in a Reuters poll of economists.

Just a few weeks ago, investors thought the bank would raise the rate by a quarter-point to its highest level since early 2009.

The underwhelming figures took some of the wind out of expectations that the United States economy is going from strength-to-strength and dampened hopes that today's CPI figures will deliver on expectations headline inflation will have ticked up last month. The following month, two of the BoE's nine Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) members voted for an increase to 0.75 percent.

And there are fears that the first-quarter slowdown may not just be a weather-related blip, with official data revealing more widespread weakness and survey data for April showing little sign of a bounce-back.


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