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Reporting on key macro data at the time of release.
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- "The spread of the Omicron variant has added an element of additional uncertainty to the near-term outlook which makes [a 15bp hike next week] less compelling – indeed we expect another ‘finely balanced’ decision. However, we think the majority of the Committee will be persuaded by the economic data, which clearly justify the start of the tightening process, in our view."
- "We would not expect a unanimous decision (We assume a 6-3 split, with Jonathan Haskel, Silvana Tenreyro and Catherine Mann voting to keep policy on hold)."
- "Uncertainty about the
effect of the new variant, in both an epidemiological sense and an economic one, has likely contributed to [MPC speakers'] more balanced tone. However, we suspect the MPC’s recent communication challenges may have contributed to its less committal stance. The MPC might have more information available to it when it makes its policy decision, although it looks likely
to be a few weeks before we have a clearer view on the characteristics of Omicron."
- "If some of the early evidence is confirmed, Omicron could prove more transmissible and able to partly escape vaccine protection, yet be less virulent. In such a scenario, we think supply-side constraints could be exacerbated, potentially adding to inflationary pressures, and we think the MPC could potentially be more sensitive to these than to the more mild demand-side impact"
- "We expect two 25bp hikes in 2022 and a further two in 2023, taking Bank Rate to 1.25% by end-2023. We would not consider this the ‘terminal’ rate, however, and in that regard while we push back on markets’ near-term expectations, we think more could be delivered in the longer term than is currently priced in."