BOE Says 'More Persistent' Inflation Prompted Surprise Rate Rise
Comment of the Day

December 16 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

BOE Says 'More Persistent' Inflation Prompted Surprise Rate Rise

This article for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers:

“We’ve seen evidence of a very tight labor market and we’re seeing more persistent inflation pressures, and that’s what we have to act on,” Bailey told BBC News on Thursday. “We’re concerned about inflation in the medium terms, and we’re seeing things now that can threaten that.”

The remarks represent a shift in tone for the U.K. central bank, which previously said most pressures on prices were temporary, or “transitory,” and likely to pass in the next few months. Now, Bailey expects the consumer price index to top 6% in the coming months, triple the BOE’s target.

Becoming the first major central bank to hike its benchmark since the pandemic started, the BOE raised borrowing costs by 15 basis points to 0.25%. No other Group of Seven central bank has made since the start of the crisis.

Eoin Treacy's view

The Bank of England has been in something of a pickle. They did not want to raise rates before every other country, but felt pressured to do so by persistent inflation. The most important factor is inflationary pressures are seeping into perceptions of how the public view well central banks are doing their job. Even as upward pressure on prices, on a year over year basis, will abate next year, that will do little to deter the impression that prices are running away from consumers.

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