Bank of England maintains policy rate

Bank of England maintains policy rate

But Craig Inches, head of rates and cash at Royal London Asset Management, said the bank had missed another opportunity to raise rates.

"If the economy slows. then we will adjust policy", he said.

On Friday the currency rose 0.1 percent versus the dollar at $1.3533 and increased 0.1 percent against the euro at 88.090 pence. The MPC did underline that there were exceptional circumstances presented by Brexit, which is set to occur next March within the forecast horizon that the MPC considers. In an April 18 poll, 69 of 76 had a 25 basis point increase penciled in.

Britain's economy grew more slowly than most of its peers previous year, after a Brexit-driven jump in inflation hit consumer spending power and some businesses delayed long-term investment.

The Office for National Statistics is scrapping the first of its three GDP estimates starting in July.

This is largely down to a recent set of figures that showed that the United Kingdom economy grew by just 0.1% during the first quarter of 2018.

The BoE raised rates for the first time in more than a decade in November, reversing an emergency cut made after June 2016's Brexit vote.

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The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted 7-2 to keep rates at 0.5% following the shock slowdown in growth to 0.1% in the first quarter (Q1) as the impact of the Beast from the East compounded woes in consumer and construction sectors. Inflation fell faster than the BoE had expected and the economy grew at its slowest annual rate in five years in early 2018.

Only a handful of analysts now think the central bank will take the longer-term view that focuses on potential inflation pressures from unemployment at its lowest since 1975 and some signs of wage growth inching up.

The rate was further lowered by 25 basis points in the wake of the Brexit vote in the summer of 2016 and was raised back to 0.5 percent at the end of past year.

Rate futures showed less than a 50 percent chance of a hike in August, the next time the BoE updates its forecasts.

However, the BoE may not be comfortable with this scaling-back of interest rate expectations, which has the potential to fuel inflation through a weaker pound and cheaper credit.

He added however that the MPC's answer to the question of whether "weakness [was] due to the weather or the climate" was the former, and that "overall the economic climate looks little changed to the MPC thus far".

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