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Bank of England says rates might have to rise sooner The Bank of England has decided once again to keep interest rates on hold today but warned they might need to start rising sooner than markets expect to keep a lid on inflation.
In its latest quarterly inflation report, it forecast inflation to keep rising above its 2 per cent target, and it also warned that consumer spending is expected to slow down more than it previously expected in the coming months. Consumer demand slowed 'markedly' in the first quarter as finances pandora gift card australia were being squeezed by rising inflation, and the Bank said it expected it to continue to slow down in this quarter and beyond. 'This is conditioned on the assumptions that the adjustment to the United Kingdom's new relationship with the European Union is smooth, and that Bank Rate follows the market implied path for interest rates. 'On the whole, the Committee judges that, if the economy follows a path broadly consistent with the May central projection, then monetary policy could need to be tightened by a somewhat greater extent over the forecast period than the very gently rising path implied by the market yield curve underlying the May projections.' The Bank raised its inflation guidance, now expecting it to hit 2.7 per cent in the fourth quarter, up from 2.4 per cent previously forecast, far outstripping wage rises. Inflation rose to 2.3 per cent in March. In view of this, the Bank trimmed this year's search pandora charms forecasts slightly to 1.9 per cent from 2 per cent in February after a sharp slowdown in the first three months of the year, but it upgraded next year's from 1.6 per cent to 1.7 per cent. All policymakers except for Kristin Forbes voted for rates to be kept at their record low of 0.25 per cent. Ben Brettell, senior economist at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: 'The Bank of England's view of the UK economy remains largely unchanged from February, today's quarterly inflation report showed. 'Provided whoever wins the election can manage a 'smooth' pandora bracelet cheap Brexit, the Bank predicts steady if unspectacular growth for the UK over the next couple of years. 'Wage growth, which has been notably lacklustre of late, is seen picking up sharply next year. It might not take much positive economic data to persuade further MPC members to join Forbes and vote to hike rates, though it should be noted that she is due to leave the MPC at the end of June.' All policymakers except for Kristin Forbes voted for rates to be kept at their record low of 0.25 per cent The report also said that exports and business investment could pick up more than expected this year, helping offset any weakness in the consumer sector. The pound slumped on the news, falling 0.4 per cent against the US dollar to below $1.28. Against the euro, the pound was trading 0.3 per cent down at 1.18. It comes as sterling has slightly recovered in recent months. The weak pound since Britain's vote to leave the EU has seen inflation surge in recent months, pushing up the price of imported goods. Tom Stevenson, investment director for Personal Investing at Fidelity International, said: 'For now, it seems the Bank of England will be sitting tight on a rate rise given the headwinds the UK economy faces and the strengthening of the pound. 'Mr Carney remains of the view that the Brexit negotiating period will be extremely challenging for the UK economy. But today's announcement introduces a more hawkish tone than we have seen previously.' Martin Beck, senior economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club, said that given signs of a slowdown in the economy and Brexit, the Bank's 'steady as she goes approach' was 'hard to criticise'. 'Overall, the Bank's report offers no reason to think that interest rates will move from their current rock bottom levels for the foreseeable future. We anticipate no rise in Bank Rate until late 2018,' he said. 'The Committee attempted to push back at the current bearishness of the markets, which do not appear to expect any rate hike until the turn of the decade.' The report comes as both manufacturing and construction sectors shrunk in March as the economy continued to falter. Official data showed construction dipped 0.7 per cent, while manufacturing output fell 0.6 per cent in March, with industrial output as a whole down 0.5 per cent its third straight monthly decline. Trade data was also disappointing, with net trade the difference between imports and exports widened to 4.9billion from 2.7billion the previous month, a six month high, according to the ONS. Most watched Money videos The new Nissan Qashqai will be in the showrooms from next month Jaguar Land Rover teases the opening of its classic car tour Instant karma!: Thief stopped by lorry driver quick thinking Investing Show: Are stockmarkets too expensive? 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