Sunday, July 21, 2024

Bank of England holds interest rates at 5.25% for seventh time

The Bank of England has held interest rates for the seventh time, at 5.25%, in line with expectations.

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) sets monetary policy to meet the 2% inflation target, and in a way to help sustain growth and employment. At its meeting ending on 19 June 2024, the MPC 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%.

Twelve-month CPI inflation fell to 2% in May from 3.2% in March, though is expected to rise slightly in the second half of this year.

Alpesh Paleja, Interim Deputy Chief Economist, CBI, said: “It’s unsurprising that the Monetary Policy Committee kept interest rates on hold this month. Recent data has been a bit of a mixed bag: while inflation is falling and the labour market is loosening, wage growth remains stubbornly strong and services inflation is higher than the Bank’s forecast. Signs of continued persistence in domestic price pressures will have prompted caution among the Committee.

“We still expect the MPC to cut rates in August, but this is not a done deal – they remain very data-driven, so the evolution of key indicators over the coming month will be key. Furthermore, the pace of any rate cuts beyond August is likely to be gradual, if the Bank remained concerned about the persistence of underlying price pressures.”

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