As inflation swells, some at United Kingdom central bank want rate hike


Next week's economic calendars will be quieter.

The Committee voted unanimously to maintain government bond purchases at £435bn and corporate bond purchases at £10bn. Now, GBP traders are focusing on a speech to be given this evening, United Kingdom time, by BoE Governor Mark Carney at the Mansion House in the center of London's financial district.

Mr. Carney is due to speak alongside U.K. Treasury chief Philip Hammond later Thursday at an annual gathering of bankers in London's financial district.

Economists were taken aback by the close nature of the vote, particularly given the recent economic data has indicated the United Kingdom economy is slowing down.

"The Monetary Policy Committee are clearly concerned over the rapid rise of inflation over recent months, so much so that some chose to break ranks and push for the first rate hike in 10 years", said Jake Trask, research director at payments provider OFX.

The BoE was more hawkish-than-expected and the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) vote count indicated a surprisingly tight decision.

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With the United Kingdom economy struggling, economic and political uncertainty magnified by the election result, and earnings growth very weak, a compelling case can still be made for the Bank of England to hold off from any interest rate hike.

Then of course there is the domestic political uncertainty we are currently experiencing as well as the unknown course Brexit will now take.

As yet, there has been no agreement between Prime Minister Theresa May's ruling Conservative Party and Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, which will have to come to some arrangement if she is to keep her majority in Parliament. "Members may also be expecting that this period of high inflation will start to fade as year on year currency devaluation effects and increase in underlying energy prices roll out of the inflation basket".

However, sterling gained nearly a cent against the dollar following the MPC announcement.

Today's forecast for the GBP EUR pairing will be dependent on the Bank of England's rate decision and policy news, with future promises of raised interest rates likely to send Sterling higher against the Euro, and talks of easing likely to send it lower. The votes to keep the asset-purchase program unchanged were unanimous. The normally nine-member committee is down one after Deputy Governor Charlotte Hogg was forced to resign in March, and Kristin Forbes just attended her last meeting before returning to academia in the U.S. We don't know if Forbes, the panel's biggest hawk, will be replaced by August, or if the other empty position, Hogg's, will have been filled either. The pound's 13 percent devaluation since last year's Brexit referendum has fueled the surge in inflation, and there's little sign of it reversing much any time soon. The Fed expects that inflation will not hit the current target, of two percent, and it has revealed plans for unwinding the post-asset purchasing balance sheet, which now totals nearly $4.5 trillion. It predicted Q2 growth of 0.4%.