Bank of England preview: MPC could start raising interest rates tomorrow


s the Bank of England poised to move interest rates up for the first time since August 2018?

The market betting on whether it will do so today is split nearly exactly 50:50.

A few weeks back is seemed nailed on that rates would go from 0.1% to 0.25%.

Banks had already pulled their cheapest fixed rate mortgage deals from the market and replaced them with slightly more expensive ones in expectation of such a move.

Inflation was causing jitters and there were increasingly “hawkish” remarks from members of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee. (In the jargon, hawks are economists who fret most about inflation, doves think employment or lack thereof is the bigger issue.)

Simon French at Panmure Gordon says Ben Broadbent, one of the deputy governors, will be key. He has “remained rather quiet for several months,” says French, one of the City folk who think the Bank will leave rates unchanged.

French adds: “November’s decision looks highly likely to be a split vote with us marginally favouring a “hawkish hold” from the BoE – leaving open the possibility of a December or February interest rate increase. We certainly do not sit in the camp who see any rate increase as a policy mistake – rather our preference would be for more data to establish the underlying inflation dynamics in the UK economy. This has particular salience given the mixed messages being sent out by UK consumers at present.”