It’s Bank of England say.
This is the day when the bank releases both the minutes of its Monetary Policy Committee.
The Bank will have one key question on its mind when it publishes at midday today — just where has all the inflation gone?
The BoE will more than likely hold rates at 0.5% for the 84th consecutive month. Last month, the MPC voted unanimously, 9-0, to hold rates, with lone hawk Ian McCafferty changing his view.
McCafferty had consistently voted to increase rates by 0.25%, but last month capitulated, and went with the crowd.
While the interest rate decision is crucial, markets will be more interested in analysing the tone of Governor Mark Carney’s words on inflation for clues on when a rate rise might happen.
For the moment, the BoE is indicating that three big factors — a rock-bottom oil price, a slowdown in emerging market economies and weak wage growth — are holding inflation back, and keeping rates low.
How these topics will be treated in the final report, compared with comments made in February, will provide a strong illustration of how bad the Bank of England thinks the inflation situation is.
Here’s the key quote from last month’s decision on interest rates:
All members agree that, given the likely persistence of the headwinds weighing on the economy, when Bank Rate does begin to rise, it is expected to do so more gradually and to a lower level than in recent cycles. This guidance is an expectation, not a promise. The actual path Bank Rate will follow over the next few years will depend on the economic circumstances.
Slack global growth, low oil, and poor wage growth in the the UK have really hit Carney’s policy of forward guidance — an attempt to give traders, businesses and households a clearer picture of when they can expect an interest rate rise.
In the past, he’s hinted that 2016 could be the year in which the BoE raises rates for the first time since the financial crisis. But that looks increasingly unlikely, and some analysts are now pricing in a rate cut before a rate rise.
The Bank of England announces its decision the day after UK chancellor George Osborne revealed his latest budget, and US Federal Reserve voted to keep interest rates stable, and chairman Janet Yellen warned that the global economy is in peril.
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