The Bank of England has kept interest rates on hold in its first meeting since last month's decision to raise rates for the first time in 10 years.

Members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted unanimously to keep interest rates at 0.5%.

At its November meeting the MPC raised rates from the record low of 0.25%, citing record-low unemployment, rising inflation and stronger global growth.

It also indicated there would be two more rises over the next three years.

In the minutes from its latest meeting, the Bank said "modest" increases in interest rates would be needed over the next few years, but repeated previous promises that those rises would be "gradual and to a limited extent".

Higher interest rates have a big impact on the economy.

Of the 8.1 million households with a mortgage, 3.7 million – or 46% – are on either a standard variable rate or a tracker rate – which usually move in line with the official bank rate.

A move higher can also give savers a lift as High Street banks generally have to raise their rates of interest.

Since their last meeting, members of the MPC have assessed the potential impact of the November's Autumn Budget.

They believe it will lift the level of GDP by 0.3% by 2020, as Chancellor Philip Hammond eased up on austerity measures.

In the minutes from its latest meeting, the MPC repeated its view that inflation was "likely to be close to its peak".

On Tuesday, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that inflation as measured by the Consumer Prices Index hit 3.1% in November, the highest rate in nearly six years.

That rise above 3% means Bank of England governor Mark Carney has to write to the government and explain why inflation is so far above the target of 2%.

That letter will be revealed along with the Bank's next Quarterly Inflation report, next February.

The Bank argues that the main reason behind rising inflation has been the decline in value of the pound, which fell sharply in June last year when the UK voted to leave the European Union.

Although the pound has recovered in recent months, it is still about 10% lower against the dollar and the euro, which makes imported goods, food and raw materials more expensive.

The pound was given a boost last week when the European Union agreed that sufficient progress had been made in Brexit negotiations to allow them to progress to the next stage and to put a transition period in place.

The Bank said those developments "would reduce the likelihood of a disorderly exit, and was likely to support household and corporate confidence".

However, it said the reaction of households, businesses and markets to developments on Brexit talks "remain the most significant influence on, and source of uncertainty about, the economic outlook".

Original Article

[contf] [contfnew]

BBC

[contfnewc] [contfnewc]

The post UK interest rates kept on hold at 0.5% appeared first on News Wire Now.

Leave a Reply

  • (not be published)