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Financial News: Bank Of England Stands Pat On Rates, QE

Bank Of England Stands Pat On Rates, QE

09/13/2018 - 08:21:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Bank of England policymakers unanimously decided to maintain the monetary policy stance on Thursday, after resorting to a quarter-point rate hike in August.

The Monetary Policy Committee, led by Governor Mark Carney, voted 9-0 to keep the key rate unchanged at 0.75 percent.

The committee also unanimously decided to maintain the quantitative easing through asset purchases at GBP 435 billion.

Policymakers said if the economy continues to develop broadly in line with the August Inflation Report projections, an ongoing tightening of monetary policy over the forecast period would be appropriate to return inflation sustainably to the 2 percent target.

The MPC reiterated that any future increases in Bank Rate were likely to be at a gradual pace and to a limited extent.

Ruth Gregory, an economist at Capital Economics, said the MPC will tread cautiously until Brexit uncertainty has been resolved.

Indeed, a Brexit deal will be struck at the eleventh hour, which will probably prevent the MPC from lifting rates again until next year, the economist added.

Chancellor Philip Hammond announced on Tuesday that Carney will stay at the helm of the central bank until the end of January 2020 to support a smooth Brexit and transition.

The BoE Governor has not ruled out a no-deal Brexit and had warned earlier that the economy would suffer a shock if that is the case.

Despite the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit negotiations, the economy expanded 0.6 percent in the three months to July, the fastest since August 2017.

Warm weather and the World Cup boosted retail sales and recovery in construction underpinned economic growth.

BoE staff raised their growth outlook for the third quarter to 0.5 percent from 0.4 percent. Growth in manufacturing is likely to rebound in the third quarter after erratic weakness in the second quarter, bank said.

Recent developments have increased downside risks around global growth to some degree. Further protectionist measures by the United States and China, if implemented, could have a somewhat more negative impact on global growth than was anticipated in August.

According to Agents' summary of business conditions, uncertainty around Brexit contributed to a slight softening in investment intentions.

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