The Bank of England's interest rate setting committee has
opted to keep base rate on hold at 5.25% - this after January's 0.25% increase
in what was the third rate hike in 6 months.
Despite the lack of any action, continuing strong data on the housing
market front against a backdrop of robust consumer spending, has led many
analysts to argue that the next rate hike has merely been postponed. The
one upside in all of this is that a significant proportion of the same
analysts are also forecasting that the next rate hike may well be the
last in the current cycle as inflation begins to slow in response to the
recent fall in energy prices.
Alongside strong numbers in the services sector the committee will have
been mindful of growing evidence that the recent industrial recovery may
be flagging - not least the surprise data showing industrial output contracting
in December. As ever any decision taken by the committee will have been
part of a much larger economic balancing act.
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