April 13, 2024

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The Bank of England is expected to maintain interest rates

The Bank of England is expected to maintain interest rates

Image source, Getty Images

The Bank of England is expected to keep interest rates at 5.25% for the fifth time in a row on Thursday.

The bank is also expected to be cautious about signaling when it will cut interest rates in the future, despite February's lower-than-expected inflation numbers.

The bank is trying to get rid of inflation without harming the British economy.

Central banks are also inclined to follow the lead of the US Federal Reserve, which held interest rates on hold on Wednesday.

Inflation, the rate at which prices rise over time, has been declining gradually since reaching 11.1% in October 2022, its highest rate in 40 years.

However, prices have not fallen yet, and are even rising less quickly than before.

Bank Governor Andrew Bailey said the bank would wait for conclusive evidence that inflation is under control before it cuts interest rates.

It has an inflation target of 2%, and it either raises, holds or lowers interest rates to try to achieve that.

He kept interest rates steady after a series of 14 consecutive increases that were intended to curb the high pace of general price increases.

By keeping interest rates high, the bank is trying to rein in the pace of price rises without hurting the economy – which has been sluggish in recent years.

This high interest rate policy has raised borrowing costs for households and the government.

The bank looks at a number of factors in the economy when determining how to set rates.

Services inflation and wage growth are the main factors the bank considers when deciding whether to cut interest rates.

Wage growth fell to 6.1% in February, compared to 8% in the middle of last year.

But inflation in services – which covers such as hotel accommodation and insurance premiums – remained high at 6.1%.

The bank also takes into account factors such as job losses and economic output.

As in the UK, interest rates around the world have been rising, but in recent months, other central banks – including the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank – have paused rate hikes.

The UK has one of the highest interest rates in the G7 – the group that represents the world's seven largest “advanced” economies.