Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Best Cash ISA Savings Account for Soaring UK Inflation - February 2018 - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Gold Price Forecast 2018 - February Update - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Bitcoin Crypto Currencies Crash 2018, Are We Near the Bottom? - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Trump Bubble Bursts, Stock Market Panic Dow 1175 Point Crash Analysis - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Gold Corrects, Bitcoin Markets Crash, Whilst Stocks Plunge - Nadeem_Walayat
6.US Treasury Bonds: Fuse to Light the Bonfire - Jim_Willie_CB
7.Dow Falls 666 Points As Cryptocurrencies Crash And Krugman Emerges From His Van - Jeff_Berwick
8.Stock Market Roller Coaster Crash Ride Down to Dow Forecast 23,000 - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Trading the Shadows - Oil, Dollar, Stocks, Gold Trend Analysis - B.R. Hollister
10.Stock Market Analysis: Baying for Blood - Abalgorithm
Last 7 days
Tips to Get Financing for a New Business - 24th Feb 18
Heavy Police Presence at Resumption of Sheffield Street Tree Fellings Protests - 24th Feb 18
Why You Should NOT Sub4Sub Free Youtube Subscribers - YTpals, Subpals, SubmeNow Test Results - 23rd Feb 18
One Belt, One Road, One Direction for Precious Metals - 23rd Feb 18
Gold’s Curious Sentiment - 23rd Feb 18
Relationship Between Crude Oil and U.S. Dollar in February 2018 - 23rd Feb 18
Why The Next Oil Boom Will Be Fueled By Blockchain - 23rd Feb 18
Gold Bull and Bear Markets - 23rd Feb 18
Why Recent Lows Are Crucial for US Dollar - 23rd Feb 18
Will Bitcoin be Larger Than NEO in 2018? - 23rd Feb 18
Stock Market SPX Probable Pop-n-drop - 22nd Feb 18
Stocks Fail to Hold Gains, But Still No Correction - 22nd Feb 18
Why We Should Buy Essay - 22nd Feb 18
The Latest US Debt Blow - 22nd Feb 18
6 Tips For Seamless Business Foreign Exchange - 22nd Feb 18
How to Anticipate Stock Market Trend Changes - 21st Feb 18
Gold Miners’ Rally? What Rally? Watch Out for More Fake Moves! - 21st Feb 18
5 Big Drivers of Higher Inflation Rates Ahead - 21st Feb 18
Goofy Indictments Divert Attention from Criminal Abuses at the FBI and DOJ - 21st Feb 18
Bitcoin or British Pound ‘Pretty Much Failed’ As Currency? - 21st Feb 18
Stock Market Waiting for the Fed - 21st Feb 18
National Identity Demands Restrictive Immigration - 21st Feb 18
Best Opportunities for Freelance Technical Writing Jobs - 21st Feb 18
4% US 10-year Treasury Note Yield Will Be a Floor Not a Ceiling - 20th Feb 18
Governments Are LYING about Their Gold Activities while Mining Companies Cower - 20th Feb 18
No Silver Lining Here - 20th Feb 18
Semi Conductor Stocks SEMI Bearish? - 20th Feb 18
The Prisoner Promised Land - 20th Feb 18
Best Car Dash Cam Review: Z-Edge S3 Dual Dash Cam - UNBOXING (1) - 20th Feb 18
How Inflation Reduces The Real Value Of Social Security Net Of Medicare Premiums - 19th Feb 18
Could Stellar Lumens be a Challenger to Bitcoin for International Payments? - 19th Feb 18
US-China Trade War Escalates As Further Measures Are Taken - 19th Feb 18
How To Trade Gold Stocks with Momentum - 19th Feb 18
Is a New Gold Bull Market on the Horizon? - 19th Feb 18
Stock Market Decision Point! - 19th Feb 18
An Inflation Indicator to Watch, Part 1 - 18th Feb 18
Get on Top Of Debt Before It Gets on Top of You - 18th Feb 18
Will the Stock Market Make a Double Bottom? - 18th Feb 18
5 Reasons Why Commodities Are the Investment Place to be in 2018 - 18th Feb 18
1 Week Later, Stock, Bond Market Risk Remains ‘On’ as 2 of 3 Amigos Ride On - 17th Feb 18
Crude Oil Prices: A Case of Dueling Narratives? - 17th Feb 18
Free 1000 Youtube Subscribers Services - YTpals, Subpals, SubmeNow Test - 17th Feb 18
How to Trade as We Near March Stock Market Top - 16th Feb 18
Bitcoin as Poison - 16th Feb 18
GDX Gold ETF Weathers Stock Market Selloff - 16th Feb 18
Casino Statistics and Demographics - 16th Feb 18
IS Today Thee Stock Market Turn Day? - 16th Feb 18
Huge SMIGGLE Shopping HAUL, Pencil Cases, Drinks Bottles, Back Packs, Toys.... - 16th Feb 18
Tesla Cash Keeps Burning at $320 a Share - 15th Feb 18
Big Conflict Ahead in the Financial Markets - 15th Feb 18
Stocks Extend Rally Off Friday's Low, But Short-Term Exhaustion Near - 15th Feb 18
Stock Market Out on a Limb... - 15th Feb 18
Things Only a True Friend Would Say About Gold - 14th Feb 18
Global Debt Crisis II Cometh - 14th Feb 18
Understanding Crude Oil Behavior - 14th Feb 18
Stock Market is Getting Scary... - 14th Feb 18

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Urgent Stock Market Message

UK: Interest Rate Hike Expectations Ease But Don't Rule Out Further Tightening

Economics / UK Interest Rates Mar 22, 2007 - 12:01 PM GMT

By: Victoria_Marklew

Economics

The minutes of the March 8 meeting of the Bank of England's (BoE) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) have caught the markets by surprise, with an unexpectedly-dovish 8-1 vote to leave rates on hold, and the one dissenter a vote for a rate cut. The members noted that "the upside risk to inflation from wage growth might have started to diminish," and "financial market volatility added to the case for holding rates." So, can we assume that the current 5.25% repo rate is the peak? Not yet.

Yesterday came the news that the EU-harmonized rate of inflation , HICP, hit 2.8% in February, up from 2.7% in January - still far above the BoE's 2.0% medium-term target. The Retail Prices Index (RPI), the basis for most wage negotiations, climbed to a 16-year high of 4.6%.


Last week, the BoE's quarterly inflation survey found that expectations for the rate of inflation over the coming year were unchanged from the November survey, at 2.7%. While this remains well above the BoE's 2.0% target, the stabilization of expectations is likely to be comforting to the members of the MPC. However, with the RPI at a 16-year high, there is still a risk to inflation expectations.

Last week's report on average earnings showed the fastest three-month rate of growth since the summer, with November-January earnings up an annual 4.2% (4.0% in October-December). However, excluding bonuses, which were concentrated in the booming financial services industry, earnings growth eased from 3.7% to 3.6% - suggesting that the closely-watched January pay round was relatively benign.

The British Bankers' Association reported a fall in the growth of credit card debt in February, marking seven straight months of lower consumer borrowing. On the other hand, the housing market continues to show a surprising level of resilience despite three rate hikes since last August. Underlying net mortgage lending rose by a still-robust £5.2 billion in February, down only slightly from £5.4 billion in January. Still, this did mark three successive months in which lending rose by slightly less than the month before, suggesting that we may be seeing the start of a moderating trend.

However, data from the Building Societies' Association showed that mortgage approvals, a forward looking indicator of housing demand, rose a seasonally adjusted £5.4 billion last month, down only slightly from the record-high £5.8 billion seen in January, and the highest level on record for the month of February. And, money supply growth remains strong, climbing an annual 12.8% in February (12.9% in January). All told, it is too soon to call the end of the current housing cycle recovery.

Over on the fiscal side of the policy equation, Chancellor (and PM-in-waiting) Brown today delivered his eleventh consecutive annual budget (making him the longest-serving Chancellor since the 1820s). It clearly was designed to win back support for the Labour Party ahead of PM Blair's retirement (expected within the next six months) without totally undermining Brown's reputation for relative fiscal prudence.

The Chancellor announced headline-catching cuts in the basic rate of income tax and in the corporation tax, but also tweaked some other tax margins such that the overall impact of fiscal policy should be broadly neutral. However, Brown's forecast of a gradually-narrowing fiscal deficit looks overly optimistic. It is based on the assumption that GDP growth will climb as high as 3.25% this year and 3.00% in 2008. With this year's growth likely to be closer to the 2.74% seen in 2006, tax revenue is likely to fall short of the projection.

So, where does all this lead interest rates? The prospect of one more rate hike in April or May has dimmed a little but not disappeared. In its February Inflation Report the BoE concluded that inflation would be slightly above the 2.0% target in two years time if the repo rate stayed at 5.25%. And while the MPC seems to be feeling more sanguine - even the two most hawkish members voted to stay on hold this month - they are not yet ready to rule out the need for additional tightening.

The minutes note that most members felt that risks to inflation in the medium-term remain "on the upside" due to capacity constraints, strong price intentions among businesses and strong money supply growth. Key reports due before the April 5 MPC meeting include February retail sales (March 22), and BoE consumer credit and mortgage lending for February, due on March 29.

By Victoria Marklew
The Northern Trust Company
Economic Research Department - Daily Global Commentary

Victoria Marklew is Vice President and International Economist at The Northern Trust Company, Chicago. She joined the Bank in 1991, and works in the Economic Research Department, where she assesses country lending and investment risk, focusing in particular on Asia. Ms. Marklew has a B.A. degree from the University of London, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and a Ph.D. in Political Economy from the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of Cash, Crisis, and Corporate Governance: The Role of National Financial Systems in Industrial Restructuring (University of Michigan Press, 1995).

The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of The Northern Trust Company. The Northern Trust Company does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of information contained herein, such information is subject to change and is not intended to influence your investment decisions.


© 2005-2018 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules