BoE slams on the brakes again, CBRT a step in the right direction

The Bank of England accelerated its tightening efforts after meeting this week, hiking rates by 0.5% in response to another raft of worrying inflation data.

And it’s not just yesterday’s CPI data that will have caused considerable discomfort for the MPC; the April figures were also far too high and wage numbers we’ve had in the interim suggest it’s becoming increasingly embedded. That had to have caused serious alarm within the BoE, within seven members of the committee anyway.

Two policymakers voted to hold rates steady for the fourth meeting highlighting the widening gulf between the views on the MPC which may make finding a consensus going forward that much more challenging.

There’s every chance that those backing 50 basis points did so in the hope that doing more now may necessitate the need to do less later on and for a shorter period of time. That’s not how markets are initially perceiving it though, with the odds of the Bank Rate rising above 6% increasing. It could get rather painful in inflation doesn’t improve soon.

The pound appears to be weighing up both of these considerations, as is evident in the very volatile response we’ve seen in the currency. Rate hikes are generally good for a currency but when they’re rising to levels that could seriously threaten the economy, there’s certainly an argument for the opposite to happen.

Turkish interest rates finally heading in the right direction

Another interest rate decision was announced alongside the BoE, with the CBRT reverting back to hiking interest rates aggressively in order to put a lid on inflation and steady the currency which has fallen another 15% in recent weeks.

President Erdogan won the election promising to defend lower interest rates having led a campaign of aggressive rate cuts under Governor Şahap Kavcıoğlu, before immediately replacing him and the finance minister after the vote. A rate hike today was widely expected but the range of forecasts was vast and if anything, the 6.5% hike was at the lower end of the range.

Turkey faces many problems going forward as a result of the misguided policies over the last couple of years and that will likely warrant more aggressive tightening in the future. For now, investors may be mildly relieved that rates are heading in the right direction, if not fast enough. The risk is that Erdogan hasn’t really hesitated to sack Governors that raise rates in the past so investors will never feel fully at ease as long as he’s President.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar:

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Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Senior Market Analyst, UK & EMEA at OANDA
Based in London, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a market analyst. With many years of experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while producing macroeconomic commentary. His views have been published in the Financial Times, Reuters, The Telegraph and the International Business Times, and he also appears as a regular guest commentator on the BBC, Bloomberg TV, FOX Business and SKY News. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and is recognised as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.
Craig Erlam