August 02, 2018
Markets suggest a 91% chance of rates returning to levels unseen since March 2009
Bank of England poised to raise interest rates
The Bank of England is poised to raise interest rates above the level set since the aftermath of the financial crisis for the first time, despite a weakening outlook for the British economy and growing risks from Brexit.
Economists widely expect the Bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC) to lift the cost of borrowing above 0.5% on Thursday to reach 0.75%. Financial markets suggest a 91% chance of rates returning to levels unseen since March 2009, when Britain was in the grip of recession.
However, recent readings for the economy have painted a mixed picture for economic growth. Survey data on Wednesday showed factory output falling to the lowest levels for 16 months in July, amid fears over Brexit and trade wars.
On the eve of the interest-rate decision, the latest snapshot from IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply showed weaker domestic activity for the manufacturing sector, which could suggest weaker growth lies ahead for the British economy.
However, inflation has remained stubbornly above the 2% target set for the Bank by the government, after having risen sharply straight after the EU referendum result.
Some rate setters on the MPC, including the Bank of England’s chief economist, Andy Haldane, also believe wage growth is just around the corner for workers, amid the lowest levels of unemployment since the mid 1970s, a factor that could help boost workers’ bargaining power for higher pay.
The summer heatwave, royal wedding and England progressing to the semi-final of the World Cup helped boost the economy, triggering stronger retail sales in April and May before they unexpectedly fell back in June. The Office for National Statistics found that the warmer weather helped the economy rebound from a slowdown earlier this year after heavy snowfall from the “beast from the east”.
Having watched the economy grind to a halt in the cold weather as building cranes and diggers fell idle across the country, the Bank delayed raising interest rates in May above 0.5%, preferring to wait for better news.
Keeping them on hold again could test the Bank’s credibility after a series of speeches from MPC members suggesting that higher interest rates would be required if economic growth continued to recover.
Despite some stronger readings for the economy, some economists have warned the Bank against raising rates amid increasing uncertainty over Brexit, as Theresa May is faced with widening parliamentary divisions over her plans.
Writing in the Guardian last month, David Blanchflower, a former MPC member , said there was no basis for the MPC to raise rates amid the uncertainty.
Threadneedle Street has previously warned that lower interest rates could be required if the UK left the EU without a deal.
Mark Carney, the Bank’s governor, has said Brexit developments would have a significant influence on monetary policy. While the MPC has a mandate to steer inflation towards 2%, it also has the ability to deviate from this course to support the economy through difficult periods.
Some economists have argued the unemployment rate of 4.2% masks the precarious nature of work for many people, which could hold back wage growth as workers’ bargaining power remains subdued. The most recent official figures show wage growth dropped to the lowest level in six months in the three months to May.
While higher interest rates would add to financial pressure facing consumers, there are fewer people than in previous years who would immediately feel the difference from higher borrowing costs.
Nationwide said the share of outstanding mortgages on variable interest rates – which would lead to an increase in payments – has fallen to its lowest level on record, at around 35%, down from a peak of 70% in 2001.
Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, said: “While the impact for most borrowers is likely to be modest, it’s important to note that household budgets have been under pressure for some time because wages have not been rising as fast as the cost of living.”
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Julia Fox defends viral ‘Uncut Gems’ interview moment: ‘I was stoned’ | Page Six Celebrity News
February 17, 2022
4m-p0_-ePd8
Alexia Echevarria pushed ‘RHOM’ producers to show more of son Frankie’s recovery | Page Six
February 17, 2022
E-wTaN9NfkI
Pete Davidson rejoins Instagram amid Kanye West drama | Page Six Celebrity News
February 17, 2022
SsC3dmsI6t4
Aaron Rodgers And Shailene Woodley Reportedly Break Up | TMZ LIVE
February 17, 2022
FoErdRE8Qe4
Chet Hanks Done Talking About Famous Parents, Becoming Personal Trainer | TMZ
February 16, 2022
5_UrULOkQ6o
Woman Stabbed at Foot Locker During Nike Shoe Release
February 16, 2022
TfuXMs1JdVg
Steph's Freaky Side, "Summer House" & "Love During Lockup"
February 17, 2022
9W_raO0zlA8
Tay or Nay, Offset's Sushi Anxiety & Nick on Monogamy
February 17, 2022
PauYHpJRA6o
Kim Kardashian & North West TWINNING in Matching Pajamas | E! News
February 17, 2022
b-_Oib6R108
Adam McKay - Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony
February 17, 2022
tYtzsHoOZzo
Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, and the Cast of 'Uncharted' Talk Most Challenging Stunts
February 15, 2022
d3ksX-SKi8c
Ryan Reynolds and Walker Scobell on ‘The Adam Project’, ‘Deadpool’, and Possible ‘Star Wars’ Role
February 16, 2022
5TxJsbJr9Dk
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
04
May
CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Playoffs
Seattle Sounders - Pumas
04
May
USA: Major League Soccer
FC Cincinnati - Toronto FC
03
May
ENGLAND: Championship
Bournemouth - Nottingham Forest
02
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Brentford
02
May
ENGLAND: Championship
Fulham - Luton
02
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Real Betis
02
May
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Eintracht Frankfurt
02
May
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Monchengladbach - RB Leipzig
02
May
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Salernitana
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Leicester City
01
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Mallorca
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Bologna
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Arsenal
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Chelsea
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Inter Milan
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Fiorentina
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Venezia
01
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Rayo Vallecano - Real Sociedad
30
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Mainz - Bayern Munich
30
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bochum
30
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Newcastle United - Liverpool
30
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Athletic Bilbao - Atletico Madrid
30
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leeds - Manchester City
30
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Madrid - Espanyol
30
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Sassuolo
28
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Chelsea
27
Apr
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Semifinal
Liverpool - Villarreal
27
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Inter Milan
26
Apr
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Semifinal
Manchester City - Real Madrid
25
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Sassuolo - Juventus
24
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Rayo Vallecano
24
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - AC Milan
24
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Everton
24
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - West Ham United
24
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Empoli - Napoli
23
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brentford - Tottenham Hotspur
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.