, 2022-09-22 06:02:17,
The Bank of England warned that the U.K. will enter recession later this year. The expected recession is forecast to be the longest since the global financial crisis.
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The Bank of England voted to raise its base rate to 2.25% from 1.75% Thursday, lower than the 0.75 percentage point increase that had been expected by many traders.
Inflation in the U.K. dipped slightly in August but at 9.9% year-on-year remained well above the bank’s 2% aim. Energy and food have seen the biggest price rises, but core inflation, which strips out those components, is still at 6.3% on an annual basis.
The BOE dropped its key rate, known as the Bank Rate, down to 0.1% in March 2020 in an attempt to prop up growth and spending at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. However, as inflation began to rise sharply late last year, it was among the first major central banks to kick off a hiking cycle at its December meeting.
This is its seventh consecutive rise and takes U.K. interest rates to a level last seen in 2008.
In a release explaining its decision, the bank noted volatility in wholesale gas prices but said announcements of government caps on energy bills would limit further increases in consumer price index inflation. However, it said there had been further signs since August of “continuing strength in domestically generated inflation.”
It added: “The labour market is tight and domestic cost and price pressures remain elevated. While the [energy bill subsidy] reduces inflation in the near term, it also means that household spending is likely to be less weak than projected in the August Report over the first two years of the forecast period.”
It now expects inflation to peak at just under 11% in October, down from a previous forecast of 13%.
The hike came despite the bank saying it believed the U.K. economy was already in a recession, as it forecast GDP would contract by 0.1% in the third quarter, down from a previous forecast of 0.4% growth. It would follow a 0.1% decline in the second quarter.
Numerous analysts, along with business association the British Chambers of Commerce, have previously said they expect the U.K. to enter a recession before the end of the year. As well as energy price shocks, it faces trade bottlenecks due to Covid-19 and Brexit, declining consumer sentiment and falling retail sales.
Five members of its Monetary Policy Committee voted for the 0.5 percentage point rise, while three voted for a higher…
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