MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, May 19th 2024 - 09:13 UTC

 

 

Bank of England keeps rate at 5,25%; March inflation 3,2%, but services remain high, 6%

Friday, May 10th 2024 - 10:46 UTC
Full article 0 comments
Twelve-month CPI inflation fell to 3.2% in March from 3.4% in February. CPI inflation is expected to return to close to the 2% target in the near term Twelve-month CPI inflation fell to 3.2% in March from 3.4% in February. CPI inflation is expected to return to close to the 2% target in the near term

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) at its meeting ending on 8 May 2024, voted by a majority of 7–2 to maintain Bank Rate at 5.25%. Two members preferred to reduce Bank Rate by 0.25 percentage points, to 5%.

Following modest weakness last year, UK GDP is expected to have risen by 0.4% in 2024 Q1 and to grow by 0.2% in Q2. Despite picking up during the forecast period, demand growth is expected to remain weaker than potential supply growth throughout most of that period. A margin of economic slack is projected to emerge during 2024 and 2025 and to remain thereafter, in part reflecting the continued restrictive stance of monetary policy.

Internationally, recent growth outturns have tended to be stronger in the United States than in the Euro area. Underlying inflationary pressures in both regions have continued to moderate somewhat since the start of the year, though by less than expected in the United States. Forward interest rates have risen in the United States and, as a result, elsewhere.

With respect to indicators of inflation persistence, services consumer price inflation has declined but remains elevated, at 6.0% in March. There remains considerable uncertainty around statistics derived from the ONS Labour Force Survey. It is therefore more difficult to gauge the evolution of the labor market. Based on a broad set of indicators, the MPC judges that the labor market continues to loosen but that it remains relatively tight by historical standards. Annual private sector regular average weekly earnings growth declined to 6.0% in the three months to February, although that series tends to be volatile.

Twelve-month CPI inflation fell to 3.2% in March from 3.4% in February. CPI inflation is expected to return to close to the 2% target in the near term, but to increase slightly in the second half of this year, to around 2½%, owing to the unwinding of energy-related base effects. There continue to be upside risks to the near-term inflation outlook from geopolitical factors, although developments in the Middle East have had a limited impact on oil prices so far.

Conditioned on market interest rates and reflecting a margin of slack in the economy, CPI inflation is projected to be 1.9% in two years’ time and 1.6% in three years in the May Report.

Monetary policy will need to remain restrictive for sufficiently long to return inflation to the 2% target sustainably in the medium term in line with the MPC’s remit. The Committee has judged since last autumn that monetary policy needs to be restrictive for an extended period of time until the risk of inflation becoming embedded above the 2% target dissipates.

Categories: Economy, International.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules

No comments for this story

Please log in or register (it’s free!) to comment.