GETTYThe pound is struggling to advance against the US dollar
10 February, 2018, 02:21
"With the economy seemingly now on a firmer footing, borne out by a modest upgrading of the 2018 GDP growth forecast in the Inflation Report and slack limited and diminishing, the MPC believes there is a reduced case to tolerate above target inflation".
"As such, while the Bank of England is clearly hinting at the potential for a May rate hike, we remain cautious on the longer term path for rates, particularly given the Brexit-related uncertainty".
The Bank of England made a decision to stand pat on rates on "Super Thursday" as widely expected, but hinted at somewhat earlier- and deeper-than-expected rate hikes.
The Bank of England raised interest rates for the first time in a decade in November and said today that it now thought the next hike needed to come a bit more quickly than it thought then.
The cheap pound has boosted exports and raised dividends for British multinationals, but it has also hit consumers hard by rising food and fuel costs and denting real income.
The bank commented that if the United Kingdom economy grows as expected, monetary policy will have to be tightened somewhat earlier and by somewhat more than it was expecting last November. Manufacturing production for December was, however, in line with expectations, growing 2%. It includes an assumption that Britain will be able to get "a smooth adjustment" to a new trading relationship with the EU.
GETTYThe pound US dollar exchange rate is currently at around $1.139
In the more immediate future, the Pound could face turbulence in trading against the Australian Dollar on 13 February when United Kingdom inflation data is released.
The governor of the Bank of England (BoE) warned on Thursday that interest rates would rise sooner than markets expected.
The comment came on the back of a higher growth forecast, with the Bank expecting an average annual expansion of 1.75% over the next three years. "That was a clear message from the bank that the (interest rate) curve was a little too flat for their liking".
Against the euro, the pound rallied more than 1.2 percent, its best one-day performance in almost five months, to a one-week high of 87.32 pence before falling back. That is expected to push up inflation, according to the Bank.
The UK benchmark index has fallen deep into the red in today's session, following a downbeat lead from the USA, staying firmly in negative territory following the Bank of England's (BoE) rate decision and inflation report. The rate-setting committee said that it now wanted inflation to return to target over a "more conventional horizon" of two years, rather than three.
Meanwhile, the bank nudged up its inflation expectations, based on market interest rates, in one year, two years' and three years' time.
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