Another unanimous vote to keep rates on hold with no rise in interest rates in sight for at least another year.

Martin Beck, senior economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club, comments:

In light of gathering global and domestic economic uncertainty, the Committee stuck with February’s unanimous decision to keep rates on hold for the 84th month in a row.

“There were some notes of optimism, with the Committee highlighting a tighter labour market and rising productivity as factors expected to support real incomes and consumption. This was a different tone to the gloomy one on productivity struck by the OBR in yesterday’s Budget forecast.

“The prospect of a hike in the Bank Rate remains one for the dim and distant future. The euro-zone – the UK’s single largest source of imports – fell into deflation in February. Moreover, a backdrop of further falls in factory gate prices, subdued wage growth, and February seeing cuts in gas bills, also points to UK inflation rising very modestly this year. In addition, the Chancellor’s Budget plans imply a slightly more severe fiscal squeeze over the next five years than previously planned, which should further caution the MPC against a tighter policy.

Bank of England 1 (PD)

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