May 15th 2008
UK: No rate Cuts for 2 Years
The US Federal Reserve Bank is known for ambiguity and vagueness. The Bank of England, it appears, is not trying to emulate this approach. The Bank put an end to speculation about its near-term monetary policy by announcing that it does not plan to cut interest rates for at least two years. Apparently, inflation has breached the Bank’s 2% target, and its internal models are forecasting that it won’t be until 2010 that price inflation returns to a more palatable rate. This is bad news for the British economy, which is in the throes of an economic downturn precipitated by the housing crisis and would surely benefit from a loosening of monetary policy. By extension, the British Pound should also suffer a "correction," as a combination of inflation and lack of suitable investment opportunities will send investors rushing for the exits. The Financial Times reports:
Mr King contrasted his position – and its focus on controlling inflation – with that of Ben Bernanke of the US Federal Reserve. “We did not fall prey to the sirens to cut interest rates further as some other central banks have done,’’ he said.