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Bank of England unexpectedly hikes interest rate by 15 basis points to 0.25%

EconomyDec 16, 2021 12:04
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© Reuters.

By Samuel Indyk

Investing.com – The Bank of England voted to hike the Bank Rate by 15 basis points to 0.25%. The policy-setting Monetary Policy Committee voted by a majority of 8-1 to increase interest rates. Silvana Tenreyro voted against the proposition, preferring to maintain the interest rate at 0.1%. Most of the analysts surveyed had expected the central bank to keep the interest rate unchanged at 0.1%.

At its November meeting, the Bank of England said that if incoming data was broadly in line with expectations then it would be necessary to over the coming months to hike interest rates in order to return inflation to the 2.0% target sustainably. The Committee {{0|now}} judges that those conditions have been met.

“Recent economic developments suggest that these conditions have been met,” the Bank of England said. “The labour market is tight and has continued to tighten, and there are some signs of greater persistence in domestic cost and price pressures.”

The increase in CPI to 5.1% in November, and a further decline in the unemployment rate appears to have forced the central bank's hand.

"The rate rise to 0.25% which increases the cost of borrowing, is aimed at dampening down demand and does risk sending already weak sectors further off course," said Hargreaves Lansdown (LON:HRGV) Senior Investment and Markets Analyst Susannah Streeter. "But policymakers clearly see rampant inflation as an even more treacherous tide to deal with, with the CPI reading this week showing prices are already accelerating at levels not predicted until next Spring. Instead of battening down the hatches and waiting for the latest covid storm to subside, they are taking action now to prevent an even sharper spiralling upwards of prices."

Omicron

Since the November meeting, the Omicron COVID variant has surfaced. The Bank of England ack{{0|now}}ledged the new variant and highlighted that it is spreading rapidly within the United Kingdom but said it was unclear how this might impact medium-term inflationary pressures.

“Although the Omicron variant is likely to weigh on near-term activity, its impact on medium-term inflationary pressures is unclear at this stage,” the Committee said.

Market Reaction

In an immediate reaction to the unexpected rate hike, GBP/USD jumped 0.8% to 1.3368 and EUR/GBP dropped 0.6% to 0.8456.

The United Kingdom 10-Year yield rose 7 basis points to 0.80%.

Banking names were particularly strong following the interest rate hike with Lloyds Banking Group (LON:LLOY), Barclays (LON:BARC), Standard Chartered (LON:STAN) and Natwest (LON:NWG) all trading higher by over 3%.

Outlook for future policy

The MPC said they will review developments, including emerging evidence on the implications for the economy from the Omicron variant, as part of its forthcoming forecast round ahead of the February monetary policy report. On inflation, the central bank said risks to the outlook are two-sided.

“The Committee continues to judge that there are two-sided risks around the inflation outlook in the medium term, but that some modest tightening of monetary policy over the forecast period is likely to be necessary to meet the 2% inflation target sustainably,” the central bank said.

Bank of England unexpectedly hikes interest rate by 15 basis points to 0.25%
 

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Comments (9)
Robert Brigden
Robert Brigden Dec 16, 2021 13:56
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but still printing money... token gesture.
Marco Lupi
Marco Lupi Dec 16, 2021 13:37
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this is really gonna ***inflation
David Hawley
David Hawley Dec 16, 2021 12:25
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unexpectedly!!! The market has been expecting it for months
Adi Malik
Adi Malik Dec 16, 2021 12:25
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its unexpected because even though the market was expeting it for months normal retailers didnt know when. Only the higher parties would have known.
Mark Bradley
Mark Bradley Dec 16, 2021 12:18
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Other central banks will follow
Paul Gilbert
Paul Gilbert Dec 16, 2021 12:15
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Thats surprising , but more importantly why
Adi Malik
Adi Malik Dec 16, 2021 12:15
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inflation and because pound has been weak as heck
Brian Newman
Brian Newman Dec 16, 2021 12:15
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Timing is wrong!
Liam Stanyon
Liam Stanyon Dec 16, 2021 12:14
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says bitcoin could become worthless. Next day ups interest rates. one day the pound will be worthless
ANJUM IQBAL
ANJUM IQBAL Dec 16, 2021 12:14
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Bitcoin is the Best thing ever happened
Argy Bargy
Argy Bargy Dec 16, 2021 12:14
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truth is bitcoin could become worthless. the £ has been around a long time and is still the strongest physical currency. bitcoin is digital anything can happen if the whales sell all their coins
Mareks Boriss
Mareks Boriss Dec 16, 2021 12:14
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sell it, otherwise your best ever happened turn to nightmare
Shukri Arshad
Shukri Arshad Dec 16, 2021 12:14
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so should buy GBP or SELL GBP ?
Nuno Sacramento
Nuno Sacramento Dec 16, 2021 12:14
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ANJUM IQBAL bitcoin will be worthless sooner
Steven Hughes
Steven Hughes Dec 16, 2021 12:13
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unexpected?
Argy Bargy
Argy Bargy Dec 16, 2021 12:13
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unexpected due to not knowing the outcomes me of the new covid varient
Daniel Peate
Daniel Peate Dec 16, 2021 12:11
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