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--BOE: BOE MPC Voted 9-0 For 25 bps Bank Rate Hike
By David Robinson, Jamie Satchi
LONDON (MNI) - The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)
voted unanimously for a 25 basis point hike, lifting Bank Rate to 0.75%.
The MPC pointed to further rate hikes down the line. It said that
if the economy evolved as expected "an ongoing tightening of monetary
policy ... would be appropriate" and published an estimate for the
equilibrium interest rate of 2% to 3% in nominal terms.
A hike had been widely expected, but this hike was more hawkish
than consensus. Most analysts had expected one or more dissenting votes
in favour of unchanged policy, with Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe at the
very least expected to keep Bank Rate on hold.
For the first time the MPC published its estimate of R*, the trend
real interest rate. It highlighted the complexities of assessing where
R* lies and said that the short term equilibrium rate, r*, fluctuates.
Nevertheless, the MPC's estimate of the R* range, at 0-1%, that is
2-3% in nominal terms, is markedly above the current market implied
expectations for Bank Rate. Market pricing showed Bank Rate only rising
to around 1.25% five years down the line.
The Bank's modal estimate for R* was 0.25%.
The growth and inflation projections in the Bank's August Inflation
Report were little changed from those in May.
Based on market expectations for Bank Rate to rise to 0.9% in Q3
2019 and 1.0% in Q3 2020 and on up to 1.1% in 2021 headline inflation
(CPI) was shown above target throughout the three year forecast horizon.
CPI was projected to be at 2.15% in one year's time, 2.09% in two
years' time and 2.03% in 2021.
These forecasts were on average some 0.1 percentage point above
their May predecessors. This was largely due to the depreciation in
sterling between the May and August forecast rounds and the decline in
market interest rate expectations.
GDP growth in calendar year 2018 was forecast to be 1.4%, unchanged
from the May projection, and the 2019 GDP forecast was raised by 0.1
percentage point to 1.8% with 2020 shown at 1.7%.
The MPC believes that there is next to no spare capacity left in
the UK economy and that domestic inflation pressures will increase.
Spare capacity was shown at a rounded 0% of GDP.
Excess demand, or a positive output gap, is expected to emerge in
late 2019 and to increase thereafter. The output gap was projected at
0.25% in Q3 2020, rising to 0.5% in Q3 2021.
A key component of spare capacity is the jobless rate. This was
shown falling to 3.9% in 2018 and holding at that level in 2019 and
2020, below the MPC's estimate of the equilibrium rate at 4.25%.
--London newsroom: e-mail: email@example.com