Bank to ‘sit on the sidelines’ amid Brexit uncertainty
The Bank of England is set to keep interest rates on hold again this week as Brexit continues to take its toll on the economy.
The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee is expected to vote as one to hold rates at 0.75%, with uncertainty weighing on the economy and consumers as Theresa May is forced back to the negotiating table with the EU after her withdrawal deal was rejected by MPs.
Thursday’s noon decision will also be accompanied by the Bank’s quarterly set of forecasts, which will be watched closely for further signs of the damage inflicted by Brexit.
It cautioned at its last rates meeting in December that Brexit uncertainties had “intensified” and were hindering UK growth.
The Bank estimated that UK growth was set to slow by more than previously expected to 0.2% in the last three months of 2018, down sharply on 0.6% seen in the heatwave-boosted third quarter.
Since then, there has been little sign of improvement, while the Bank and Governor Mark Carney have ramped up their warnings over the worsening outlook for the global economy.