A rise in British interest rates in the first quarter of 2015 is now much less certain, according to a Reuters poll in which almost half the economists questioned thought the hike would come later in the year. A wafer-thin majority, 28 of 54 economists, stuck to their calls for the initial hike to come in the first quarter. In an Oct. 1 poll 54 of 60 economists had expected the Bank of England to act before April.
British rates have been at an all-time low of 0.5 percent since the depths of the financial crisis in early 2009, but with the economy exhibiting some of the healthiest growth rates among developed nations, economists in Reuters polls since June have been targeting the first three months of 2015 for the first rise in Bank Rate.
However, short sterling interest rate futures are now not fully pricing in the first rise until the second quarter.
If a first quarter hike is realised, it means the BoE would begin tightening policy before the U.S. Federal Reserve, which is expected to end its bond buying programme later on Wednesday.
Markets have likely paid attention to recent speeches from members of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee that have highlighted their wish to see increased inflationary pressures before voting for a UK rate rise.