Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 October 2019

Bank of England set to hold interest rates this month

This could be the final meeting for the central bank before the UK's proposed exit from the EU on October 31

The Bank of England will keep the benchmark rate unchanged at 0.75 per cent on Thursday. Reuters
The Bank of England will keep the benchmark rate unchanged at 0.75 per cent on Thursday. Reuters

The Bank of England is set to keep interest rates on hold at its meeting this month — the last one scheduled before the UK's current October 31 Brexit deadline.

Governor Mark Carney and the Monetary Policy Committee have been hemmed in by Brexit for months, stuck along with the rest of the country waiting for the uncertainty to end. Policy makers will keep the benchmark rate unchanged at 0.75 per cent on Thursday, according to economists in a Bloomberg survey.

The decision comes amid a wave of global easing that has seen the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank cut rates in recent months. The Fed is expected to lower borrowing costs again next week.

UK politics has been plunged into further turmoil since new prime minister Boris Johnson suspended Parliament, but not before lawmakers voted to compel him to seek an extension to Brexit negotiations if he doesn’t get a deal.

Mr Johnson will travel to Luxembourg for his first face-to-face talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Monday, and continues to insist the UK will leave at the end of next month.

Some data out of the UK is flashing warning signs that the chaos is weighing on the economy, although a report last week showed the economy expanded more than forecast in July, allaying fears of an imminent recession. UK inflation data is due out on Wednesday and retail sales for August will be published Thursday.

Updated: September 14, 2019 11:26 AM

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