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Interest rates - what today's no-change decision means for your investments

11 May 2018

Speaking at the press conference upon the release of the report, governor of the BoE Mark Carney added: "The underlying pace of growth remains more resilient than headline data suggests".

Tom Stevenson, investment director for personal investing at Fidelity International, explains: "Until a few weeks ago, a further quarter point rate hike to 0.75% looked nearly guaranteed".

Canadian Dollar exchange rates, meanwhile, continued to draw support from the relative bullishness of the oil markets and the prospect of reduced Iranian crude supplies. This is less than market expectations for growth of 1.4%, the fourth straight quarter of decelerating year-on-year growth since the March quarter of last year and the slowest rate of growth since the June 2012 quarter.

In its latest set of projections for the United Kingdom economy, published in the Inflation Report, the bank cut its forecast for economic growth this year from 1.8% to 1.4% and trimmed its growth for the following two years from 1.8% to 1.4%.

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Kevin Roberts, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: "Today's decision is welcome news for borrowers and allows them to continue making the most of these near record low rates".

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

It's not the first time that Carney has flagged up a rate hike only to pull back, which has prompted some to tag him an "unreliable boyfriend". That is something that households and businesses understand, he said.

First-quarter economic growth was a disappointing 0.1%, and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the bad weather wasn't to blame.

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"But while it held fire this month, we can not yet rule out further rate rises in the near to medium-term". The bank had previously raised its key rate in November 2017, which was the first hike in a decade.

Markets are reluctant to take his statements regarding gradual rate rises at face value, but also due to the bank downgrading its growth forecasts for 2018 from 1.8 per cent to 1.4 per cent.

Sterling weakened after the Monetary Policy Committee surprised economists who were expecting a "hawkish hold" on policy, by cutting its forecasts for near-term growth in the United Kingdom economy and for inflation. The fixed rate market has had the largest boost, with competition among newer banks and higher swap rates fuelling the rise.

"The committee's best collective judgment therefore remains that, were the economy to develop broadly in line with the May inflation report projections, an ongoing tightening of monetary policy over the forecast period would be appropriate to return inflation sustainably to its target".

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The majority of the MPC noted the recent weak numbers and said there wasn't much cost to waiting to assess the economy more fully.

Interest rates - what today's no-change decision means for your investments