BOE Signals Rates Will Rise Faster Than Markets Expect

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney addresses the media during a press conference to deliver the quarterly inflation report in London

BOE Signals Rates Will Rise Faster Than Markets Expect

Two members considered it appropriate to increase Bank Rate by 25 basis points.

In lieu of a rate rise, watch the voting pattern of the MPC.

In a further sign that Europe's economy and the outlook for monetary policy has turned a corner, the Czech central bank raised its main interest rate - becoming the first central bank in the European Union to embark on a new tightening cycle in more than five years. But the Bank stressed that any hikes would be "gradual" and "limited".

United Kingdom is the only G-7 member that is experiencing serious inflation pressures as a result of Brexit which slashed exchange rate values by more than 20% in a year.

The MPC also announced a rare fourth policy vote on Thursday, deciding that it won't extend the Term Funding Scheme, which was part of its Brexit stimulus package.

Shares in Italy's largest bank UniCredit climbed nearly 5% after reporting forecast-beating profits for the second quarter, while British retailer Next jumped 9% after returning to sales growth in its latest quarter. It also cut its forecast for growth in 2018, to 1.6% from 1.7%.

Cable has tumbled more than 70 pips vs. the dollar, now down 0.4% to $1.3169.

Retail sales fell 7.4% in the three months to 29 July, but Directory sales increased 11.4% so that Next brand sales were up 0.7% for the quarter but still down 1.2% for the first half as a whole.

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Today the pound is likely to be driven by the outlook presented by the Bank of England.

This £15bn increase was due to the fact that banks had lent out more cash in the past year than expected - and bank lending is now being supported by the Bank's Term Funding Scheme.

But it signalled rate hikes will be needed over the next few years to rein in Brexit-fuelled inflation and said borrowing costs may need to rise by more than expected in financial markets. Other important judgements include: that the lower level of sterling continues to boost consumer prices broadly as projected, and without adverse consequences for inflation expectations further ahead; that regular pay growth remains modest in the near term but picks up over the forecast period; and that subdued household spending growth is largely balanced by a pickup in other components of demand.

Moneyfacts said that on August 4 last year, savers could get an average easy access rate of 0.55 per cent, but by August this year the average rate on offer had fallen to 0.39 per cent.

Inflation eased back to 2.6% last month from 2.9% in June, although the Bank said this was expected and will pick up once again over the coming months.

German 10-year bond yields rose 1 basis point to 0.50 percent on Thursday, heading towards an 18-month high of 0.55 percent hit in mid-July, and double levels seen early on June 27.

Viraj Patel, a forex and macro strategist at ING, said: "While a bank rate hike today would come as a surprise to markets - and would see a knee-jerk move higher in short-term United Kingdom interest rates and the pound - we think what really matters once the dust settles is the underlying motivation for any BoE tightening".

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