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BoE’s Deputy Governor Signals Potential Rate Cut as Inflation Eases

In this post:

  • The Bank of England might lower interest rates this summer if inflation continues to decrease as expected.
  • Ben Broadbent noted that companies are less able to pass higher wages onto consumer prices compared to last year.
  • Upcoming inflation figures are expected to show a significant drop, potentially reaching the BoE’s target of around 2%.

The Bank of England (BoE) is gearing up for a potential interest rate cut this summer, pending confirmation that inflation is indeed on a downtrend, as anticipated by its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

This revelation comes directly from the Deputy Governor of the BoE, Ben Broadbent, who has been closely monitoring economic signals across the UK. Broadbent shared insights during a speech, noting that BoE agents across the nation have observed a change. Companies are reporting a reduced capacity to transfer higher wage demands into consumer prices compared to last year.

Data is What Drives Decision

The change in dynamics hints at less pressure on inflation going forward. Broadbent emphasized the importance of real-time data in shaping MPC’s decisions, stating:

“Whatever the priors of its individual members, the MPC will continue to learn from the incoming data. If things continue to evolve with its forecasts—forecasts that suggest policy will have to become less restrictive at some point—then it’s possible the Bank Rate could be cut sometime over the summer.”

Also read: UK Completely Gets Out of Recession – But Check This Out

These comments come ahead of major inflation data expected to be released this Wednesday. Predictions indicate a sharp decline in consumer price inflation, potentially aligning close to the BoE’s 2% target after a recent downturn in energy prices. The MPC itself has hinted at imminent rate reductions, expecting inflation to descend just below 2% within two years and to 1.6% by 2027.

UK Economy Shows Resilience Amid Global Shocks

In his detailed address, Broadbent touched upon the aftermath of the pandemic and the Ukraine conflict, which initially spurred inflation. However, these “first-round” effects have subsided, leaving behind more stubborn “second-round” effects primarily involving wages and prices. These second-round effects probably peaked last autumn, Broadbent explained, “but they will take longer to unwind than they did to emerge.”

Source: Bank of England

“For what it’s worth, however, I suspect that the particularly tight relationships between UK and global growth over the past couple of decades are as much happenstance as anything else.”

Ben Broadbent

Broadbent also brought to light findings from the BoE’s network of agents which suggest ongoing struggles among companies to pass on their elevated costs to consumers—a situation that could indicate a trend towards less persistent inflation.

Also read: UK Economy Stages Remarkable Recovery Post-recession

This perspective is further corroborated by a recent S&P Global survey of purchasing managers in the services industry, revealing the fastest rise in input costs since August 2023, yet the slowest pace in price increases in three years.

MPC Stands Divided

During his speech, the Deputy Governor also acknowledged that there have been diverse opinions within the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee regarding the persistence of inflation. However, he expressed a personal change towards expecting a less prolonged impact, which has influenced the third year of the BoE’s latest economic forecast.

“This effect too will fade, which is why we think inflation is likely to rise again in the second half of the year. Tighter monetary policy has also contributed to the decline in inflation, both by reducing excess demand and by limiting what might otherwise have been much larger second-round effects.”

Source: Bank of England

Broadbent also discussed the challenges of forecasting in an environment riddled with heavy global economic disruptions. Like unhappy families in Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, no two supply-side disturbances have identical effects, he remarked, referring to the inherent unpredictability and resultant forecast errors.


Cryptopolitan reporting by Jai Hamid

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