Interest Rate in United Kingdom

United Kingdom Interest Rate | Economic News & Forecasts

United Kingdom - Interest Rate

BoE keeps rates and total stock of asset purchases unchanged in May, but reduces pace of bond buying

At its meeting ending on 5 May, the Bank of England (BoE) maintained the bank rate at the record low of 0.10%, where it has been since March 2020. Moreover, the Bank agreed to keep the total stock of investment-grade corporate bonds and UK government bonds at GBP 895 billion. However, the BoE decided to reduce the pace of bond purchases.

On one hand, a brightening domestic panorama thanks to the vaccination rollout led the Bank to markedly upgrade its 2021 GDP growth forecast (from 5.0% to 7.3%) and meant that further monetary easing was not warranted. Moreover, the decision to taper bond purchases—even though the Bank stressed this should not be interpreted as a change in monetary policy—at least signaled that authorities are relaxed about the impact of higher bond yields and confident in the strength of the recovery. However, it was still premature to raise rates or reduce the total stock of asset purchases, due to still-elevated uncertainty linked to the virus.

Forward guidance grew more hawkish and suggested that concerns over low inflation have diminished: In its communiqué, the BoE replaced last meeting’s pledge to take “additional action” if inflation weakened, instead stating it would simply take “whatever action is necessary to achieve its remit”. Our panelists still see the bank rate at its current level until 2023, although a reduction in the quantitative easing program is likely before then. The next policy announcement will be on 24 June.

According to Kallum Pickering, senior economist at Berenberg:

“We expect the first rate hike from its current historic low of 0.1% to come in 2023. However, with its vastly expanded toolkit – including credit policies and macroprudential tools – the first steps towards a less aggressive monetary and financial policy may come in 2022. Upside risk to growth and inflation skew the chances for the first rate hike towards late-2022.”

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see the bank rate ending 2021 at 0.10% and 2022 at 0.10%.

United Kingdom - Interest Rate Data

2015   2016   2017   2018   2019  
Policy Interest Rate (%)0.50  0.25  0.50  0.75  0.75  

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United Kingdom Interest Rate Chart


United Kingdom Interest Rate
Note: Bank rate in %.
Source: Bank of England (BoE).

United Kingdom Facts

Value Change Date
Bond Yield0.83-3.04 %Jan 01
Exchange Rate1.33-0.35 %Jan 01

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