Market News

BOE’s Greene Joins Hawkish Voices Warning Against Early Rate Cut - BLOOMBERG

APRIL 11, 2024

(Bloomberg) -- Bank of England policymaker Megan Greene said interest rate cuts in the UK “should still be a way off” because Britain has a higher risk of persistent inflation than the US and other countries.

The remarks in the Financial Times signal that Greene is tilted toward the hawkish side of the UK central bank’s nine-member Monetary Policy Committee, which is considering when to lower interest rates from their highest in 16 years.

“The risk of inflation persistence is diminishing as these indicators come down in line with the MPC’s forecast. But they remain higher than in other advanced economies, particularly the US,” Greene wrote in an opinion piece for the Financial Times published Thursday. 

The comments may temper growing market bets that the BOE will start a sharp series of reductions to its benchmark lending rate later this year. After an unexpectedly strong inflation print in the US yesterday, traders ramped up wagers on the BOE moving toward loosening before the US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank.

Greene said UK rate bets are moving “in the wrong direction.” Investors are fully pricing in the first rate cut at the BOE being in September, compared to November at the Fed.

Greene’s remarks suggest her views align with hawkish BOE rate-setters, Catherine Mann and Jonathan Haskel. They recently warned that they’re not yet ready to consider reducing rates because of lingering concerns about inflation.

Their caution came after Mann and Haskel dropped their support for further hikes at the last policy meeting in March, joining the majority of the committee in voting to hold rates at 5.25%.

Greene said the UK economy is still much more constrained on the supply side with worse productivity prospects and worker participation rates still well below pre-pandemic levels.

“The UK economy has faced the double whammy of a very tight labor market and a terms of trade shock from energy prices,” Greene said. “Inflation persistence is therefore a greater threat for it than the US. But market pricing for interest rates does not reflect this.”

The minutes for the March MPC meeting noted a range of views among the majority voting to keep policy steady, with one end seeing a “material impact” on inflation from restrictive policy. Governor Andrew Bailey said following the meeting that the UK is “on the way” to rate cuts, saying the policymakers need to “act ahead of time.”

Inflation has come down sharply to 3.4% and is expected to slip below 2% in April’s data. 

However, rate-setters at the hawkish end have voiced their concerns since the meeting with domestic inflation pressures and wage growth still high.

Mann said markets are pricing in too many interest rate cuts this year, while Haskel also said lower borrowing costs should still be a “long way off.”


This website uses cookies We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you've provided to them or that they've collected from your use of their services
Real Time Analytics