Bank of England raises interest rates to 1.25%

by 24britishtvJune 16, 2022, 1 p.m. 15
-

The Bank of England has raised interest rates for a fifth time in succession to tackle an inflation rate that is heading towards 11% amid soaring household energy bills.

In a move widely expected by City economists, the Bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC) voted by a majority to increase its key base rate by 0.25 percentage points to 1.25% in response to living costs rising at the fastest annual rate for four decades.

It also said it was ready to “act forcefully” if required, signalling further rate rises in the coming months.

In a downbeat assessment as the central bank attempts to navigate a narrow path between flatlining economic growth and surging inflation, Threadneedle Street now expects the economy to shrink in the second quarter while a further rise in household energy bills is expected to push inflation above 11% in October.

In a split decision, a minority of three members of the nine-strong MPC pushed for a larger, 0.5-point rise, amid growing unease over persistently high inflation as central banks around the world launch aggressive rate hikes to combat the rising cost of living.

The US Federal Reserve announced a 0.75-point rate rise on Wednesday – the largest single rise since 1994.

Reflecting fears about the rising cost of living as the Covid pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine drive up global energy prices, the MPC said it was ready to launch a tougher response to inflation remaining above its target rate of 2%.

“The committee would be particularly alert to indications of more persistent inflationary pressures, and would, if necessary, act forcefully in response,” it said.

The committee made its decision on Wednesday afternoon, before the Fed announced its 0.75-point move, although global financial markets had already shifted by that time to anticipate a sharp rate hike from the American central bank. The Fed had previously guided Wall Street to expect a 0.5 point hike.

However, the Bank of England’s decision to stick with a 0.25-point increase underscores concern over the strength of the UK economy after weaker growth readings in recent months, as the cost of living crisis erodes household spending power and businesses struggle with severe staff shortages and supply chain bottlenecks.

Highlighting the growing risk of a recession, the Bank sharply downgraded its growth forecast for the second quarter of the year, cutting its estimate from a 0.1% rise in GDP during the three months to the end of June to a 0.3% decline.

Official figures showed that the economy unexpectedly shrank in April after a fall in March. Threadneedle Street said other “temporary factors”, including the Queen’s platinum jubilee bank holiday, were also likely to have weighed on growth.

British households have faced a surge in living costs this year, with inflation reaching 9% in April – the highest rate in the G7 group of wealthy nations – after a record increase in gas and electricity bills.

Andrew Bailey, the Bank’s governor, said further increases in household energy bills expected this October would lead inflation to rise slightly above 11% in October. In a letter to the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, explaining the Bank’s response to inflation, he said a “succession of global shocks” were hitting the British economy.

“The MPC will take the actions necessary to return inflation to the 2% target sustainably in the medium term,” Bailey said.

-

Related Articles

HOT TRENDS

Technoblade: Minecraft YouTuber dies from cancer aged 23

by 24britishtvJuly 1, 2022, 11 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Stranger Things Midseason-Premiere Recap: Father-Daughter Dance

by 24britishtvJuly 1, 2022, 10 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Pinto - Wordle fans claim latest challenge is a 'made up' word

by 24britishtvJuly 1, 2022, 10 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Culture Secretary confuses rugby codes in speech

by 24britishtvJuly 1, 2022, 10 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Minecraft YouTuber Technoblade dies from cancer aged just 23

by 24britishtvJuly 1, 2022, 9 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Kevin Durant requests trade from Brooklyn Nets in NBA bombshell

by 24britishtvJuly 1, 2022, 8 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Minecraft YouTuber Technoblade passes away after battle with cancer

by 24britishtvJuly 1, 2022, 8 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Nadal taking extra precautions after holding off Berankis’s best efforts

by 24britishtvJune 30, 2022, 10 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Inquiry begins into Captain Tom Foundation

by 24britishtvJune 30, 2022, 10 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

The Warrington link to young Brit taking Wimbledon by storm

by 24britishtvJune 30, 2022, 10 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Stranger Things season 4 part 2 episode lengths revealed

by 24britishtvJune 30, 2022, 9 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

YouTuber Logan Paul Signs On With WWE

by 24britishtvJune 30, 2022, 9 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

The Undeclared War: Who is in the cast of the Channel 4 drama?

by 24britishtvJune 30, 2022, 9 p.m.2