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Carney: Interest rates could go up or down on no-deal Brexit

  • 01/08/2019
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Carney: Interest rates could go up or down on no-deal Brexit
Bank of England (BoE) governor Mark Carney has warned there is no certainty on the direction the central bank’s base rate would move in the event of a no-deal Brexit.


Carney (pictured) was speaking after the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) unanimously voted to maintain Bank Rate at 0.75 per cent.

The MPC believes “there will be a modest adjustment in rates upward” should there be an orderly Brexit, Carney noted.

However, he added that while markets are pricing in rate falls in the case of no-deal, he was less confident in the direction of rate movements in a no-deal outcome.

“It is more complicated in the event of no-deal because it is not as simple as saying there is one path it could take,” he said.

And it appears the BoE is warning that this is becoming more uncertain, noting that business investment had slowed noticeably.

Carney suggested financial sector preparations had been adequate to prevent an exacerbation of any no-deal impacts, noting: “We believe the core of the financial sector is ready for a no-deal.”

But he warned that under a no-deal scenario the UK would be worse off as “Sterling is likely to be lower, inflation is likely to be higher and the economy is likely to slow”.



Positive housing market figures

There were more positive housing projections included in the BoE’s Inflation Report which was released alongside the base rate decision, but these are dependent on a smooth Brexit transition.

The MPC is now expecting mortgage approvals for house purchase to average about 65,000 per month through to the first quarter of 2020, this is up from 60,000 estimated in May.

It also now believes house prices will rise by just over two per cent in the year to 2020 Q1, up from an expected fall by just over 1.25 per cent in the year to 2019 Q4.

And housing investment may only fall by an average of 0.25 per cent, rather than a deeper fall of 0.5 per cent predicted three months ago.




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