Remember, remember, the fifth of November, the old rhyme about the U.K.’s Bonfire Night goes. This year, the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot, an abortive plan to blow up Parliament by disgruntled Catholics, comes with potential fireworks from an unlikely source – the Bank of England.
The second-ever of the Bank’s so-called Super Thursdays (where the interest rate decision and inflation report are released at the same time) is more likely to be a damp squib.
The bank is not expected to raise interest rates until February 2016 at the earliest, with some economists predicting that the first rise in interest rates could come even later in the year. The base rate has been at 0.5 percent since March 2009, as part of the extraordinary measures produced by monetary policymakers aimed at limiting the impact of the credit crisis.
Yet some surprises could still emerge. A 7-2 split on the nine person Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) which sets interest rates, rather than the expected 8-1, would definitely move expectations of an interest rate hike. Martin Weale and Kirsten Forbes are believed to be the most likely members to join Ian McCafferty in voting to raise rates slightly.