The Bank of England has backed off from raising interest rates as it slashed 2018 growth forecasts, but said the economy would bounce back from a weather-hit “soft patch”. Policymakers kept the prospect of rate hikes firmly on the cards, although it sparked confusion over when the next increase may come.
The Bank of England signaled on Thursday that it remains on course to lift interest rates in Britain this year and next, as figures showed a yearlong squeeze on consumers caused by a steep fall in the pound appears to be coming to an end.
The Bank of England said on Thursday it was still likely to cut interest rates to just above zero later this year, even though the initial Brexit hit to Britain's economy would be less severe than it expected only last month. The Bank said its nine rate-setters were unanimous in their decision to keep Bank Rate at its new record low of 0.25%, the lowest in the BoE's 322-year history.
Global economic growth will slow this year to the lowest rate since the financial crisis, according to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR). The think tank cut its 2015 forecast to 3.0% from the 3.2% it predicted in May.
UK interest rates have been held at a record low of 0.5% for another month by the Bank of England. It also decided to maintain its quantitative easing program, designed to stimulate lending in the economy, at the £375bn already spent.
Interest rates have been held at the record low of 0.5% for another month by the Bank of England and so has the size of its bond-buying economic stimulus program unchanged at £375bn.The news is in line with analysts' expectations, despite recent evidence that the UK economic recovery is strengthening.
The Bank of England held interest rates at a record low once more this week in spite of mounting optimism over the UK recovery. A flurry of encouraging signs on the UK economy has fuelled expectations for growth to pick up to around 1% this quarter.
The Bank of England has kept interest rates on hold for August, and also held off from any more stimulus measures, as had been expected. Its rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has voted to maintain rates at the historic low of 0.5%.