May 9, 2024 3:03 pm

Insert Lead Generation
Nikka Sulton

The Bank of England has decided to keep interest rates steady at 5.25%, maintaining them at their 16-year high. However, there are hints that rate cuts could be on the horizon, providing potential relief for borrowers struggling with mortgage payments.

Despite signs that inflation may be stabilising, the Monetary Policy Committee opted to maintain the base rate. Nonetheless, the fact that two out of nine members voted for a 0.25 percentage point reduction suggests a potential shift in policy direction.

This decision has raised hopes among some that the burden on mortgage payers may soon be alleviated. However, the committee’s choice to keep rates unchanged indicates a cautious approach amid ongoing economic uncertainties.

The possibility of rate cuts in the near future offers a glimmer of hope for those grappling with mortgage payments. Yet, the committee’s decision reflects a balanced approach, considering various economic factors before making any significant policy changes.

Governor Andrew Bailey indicated during a press conference that a rate cut next month is under consideration, stating it’s neither ruled out nor certain. He hinted that any reductions could be more significant than anticipated by the markets.

Minutes from the MPC meeting highlighted the committee’s belief that the UK doesn’t necessarily have to wait for the US to commence rate adjustments. This comes after the Fed downplayed the likelihood of any moves before year-end.

Mr. Bailey expressed optimism regarding the current situation, citing encouraging developments in inflation. He anticipates inflation nearing the 2% target over the next few months but emphasizes the need for further evidence of sustained low inflation before considering rate cuts.

The Bank’s decision next month will hinge on economic data, including GDP estimates and inflation figures. These indicators will play a crucial role in determining whether the Bank decides to implement any changes in interest rates.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt acknowledged Mr. Bailey’s message, emphasizing the Bank’s independent decision-making process. While he welcomed Mr. Bailey’s optimism, he reiterated the importance of certainty before any action is taken.


The MPC signaled its stance, indicating a requirement for further progress on key indicators like services inflation and wage growth, which have remained elevated at approximately 6 percent, before considering rate cuts.

The minutes highlighted the discrepancy in recent growth between the United States and the euro area. While underlying inflationary pressures have moderated somewhat since the beginning of the year in both regions, the decrease has been less pronounced than anticipated in the United States. This trend has influenced forward interest rates, with increases observed in the United States and subsequently elsewhere.

Households have been grappling with heightened financial strain since the end of 2021, following the onset of interest rate hikes aimed at addressing inflationary pressures stemming from the global Covid recovery.

Following a peak of 11.1 percent amid the Ukraine conflict-induced surge in energy costs, headline CPI inflation has receded to 3.2 percent. However, this figure remains above the Bank’s 2 percent target, prompting economists to speculate that the MPC will likely wait until they are confident that inflationary pressures have eased.

The Bank of England foresees a more substantial decline in inflation over the next few years, with CPI projected to decrease to 1.5 percent by 2026. Although CPI is anticipated to dip below the target between April and June, it is expected to rebound to 2.6 percent in the latter half of this year as the impact of recent energy price reductions diminishes.

In the Bank’s longer-term projections, CPI inflation is revised downwards to 2.25 percent for 2025 and 1.5 percent for 2026, marking decreases of 0.25 and 0.5 percentage points respectively from February’s estimates. With market expectations leaning towards a potential rate cut from Threadneedle Street in the coming month, there is growing anticipation surrounding the Bank of England’s forthcoming monetary policy decisions.

James Smith, an Economist specializing in Developed Markets at ING, commented, “The Bank of England is edging closer to its inaugural rate cut.”

Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, characterized the report as a precursor to the anticipated rate cut in the summer. Streeter noted policymakers’ growing optimism regarding the containment of inflation, suggesting a willingness to address high borrowing costs promptly.

There’s been a notable shift in sentiment among MPC members, with Dave Ramsden joining Swati Dhingra in advocating for a rate cut. This change in stance has influenced currency markets, with the pound depreciating against the dollar and sparking investor optimism, contributing to the sharp rise in the FTSE 100.

With evolving sentiment at the Bank of England, expectations are mounting for a swifter rate cut compared to the Federal Reserve, reflecting shifting dynamics in monetary policy.

Capital Economics suggests that the Bank of England is nearing a decision to cut rates, hinting at a potential move in the near future. They point to soft inflation and wage data as potential triggers for a rate cut, predicting that it could happen as early as the upcoming June meeting or possibly in August.

In contrast, the US Federal Reserve recently announced its decision to maintain its key interest rate, citing a lack of significant progress in addressing inflation. Fed Chair Jerome Powell indicated that rates might remain higher for an extended period until there is firmer evidence of inflationary pressures easing.

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey has emphasized that the economic conditions in the UK differ from those in the US, suggesting that the Bank may not adhere to the same timeline as the Federal Reserve. Bailey’s remarks indicate a willingness to consider rate cuts based on the UK’s specific economic circumstances.

In the previous MPC meeting in March, only Swati Dhingra voted for a rate cut of 0.25 percentage points, while the remaining eight members opted for no change. However, in the latest meeting, Dhingra found support from Dave Ramsden, indicating a potential shift in sentiment within the committee towards considering a rate reduction.



Experts have highlighted two significant economic indicators relevant to the Bank of England: wage growth and inflation in the services sector. Despite other changes, these indicators have shown resilience. Last month, average wages continued to outpace inflation.


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