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Bank of England Maintains Interest Rate at 5.25%

Published by Chirag
Published Date: November 3, 2023 , Updated Date: May 10, 2024

The Bank of England (BoE) has decided to keep the interest rate at 5.25% for the second consecutive month. This move aligns with the decisions made by the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank earlier this week.

Monetary Policy Committee's Decision

Members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted in favour of maintaining the base rate at its current level, with a notable six-to-three split. Notably, the BoE has projected that for at least the next seven months, the interest rates will remain at 5.25% with no anticipated rate cut until the third quarter of 2024. The Bank emphasised that any future interest rate adjustments would be gradual and that rates are expected to reach 4.25% by the end of 2026.

Interest Rate at 5.25%

The Bank of England's decision to hold rates steady for an extended period is driven by its concern for persistent inflationary pressures. If evidence of continued inflation arises, further monetary policy tightening will be required.

Inflation Projections and Concerns

On the subject of inflation, the BoE expects a sharp decline from the current 6.7% to 4.75% by the end of the year. This figure is projected to fall even further, reaching 3.75% in spring 2024, mainly due to lower energy, food prices, and services inflation. The Bank did, however, warn of potential upside risks to inflation, particularly related to energy prices and events in the Middle East. Despite the ongoing policy of raising interest rates, the Bank anticipates that inflation will only return to its target of 2% in two years.

Economic growth in the UK is expected to remain sluggish, with flat GDP growth in Q3. The projection for Q4 anticipates just 0.1% growth, which is weaker than expected, especially during the run-up to Christmas.

Interest Rate at 5.25%

Economists and experts have raised concerns about the prolonged impact of higher interest rates on the UK economy. The continuous hold on rates has left businesses hesitant to invest as they await a clearer picture of the country's economic prospects.

Business Resilience and Fiscal Preparedness

Experts emphasised that organisations need to be prepared for the long-term challenge posed by high-interest rates. With indicators suggesting that rates will hold through to September 2024, businesses must plan to manage the risk associated with this scenario. The persistence of fiscal tightening places businesses in a situation similar to that of the financial crisis, potentially increasing the risk of insolvencies.

Efficient financial management and accurate data are crucial for businesses to navigate this period of high-interest rates and position themselves for recovery when confidence returns.

This decision by the Bank of England highlights the cautious approach being taken in managing the UK's economic situation, and the future path remains uncertain.

Chirag
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