Bank of England raises key rate to 0.75% in surprise unanimous vote

05 August, 2018, 19:48 | Author: Manuel Hopkins
  • The Bank of England’s monetary policy committee appears almost certain to raise interest rates this week

On RBI monetary policy action, Garg said it speaks about growth remaining unchanged.

EMIs on home, auto and two-wheeler loans are set to cost more as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday raised key lending rates on the back of higher inflationary risks and fears of global volatility such as currency wars. The central bank had increased repo rate by 25 bps to 6.25 per cent in its last policy meet in June.

RBI also raised the inflation projection to 4.6 per cent in second quarter of fiscal 2019, 4.8 per cent in second half of 2018-19 and 5 per cent in first quarter of 2019-20. In other words: when inflation is steady at the Bank's 2% target and the economy is running at its maximum speed limit.

In its Quarterly Inflation Report, the Bank said: "Although in the past year the number of retail closures have increased and retail footfall has fallen, contacts of the Bank's agents suggest that mainly reflects shifts in consumer demand to online stores and from goods to services".

In a public lecture in March, RBI governor had emphasised on the need for banking regulatory powers that are neutral to bank ownership, to provide a level playing field between public sector and private sector banks.

Given that a rate hike is nearly a foregone conclusion, other parts of the MPC's decisions, and the minutes of the meeting are likely to provide more intrigue.

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (Niesr) warned on Wednesday that the Bank should raise interest rates on Thursday, but "stand ready" to reverse the hike if circumstances change.

Its rate hike comes as the squeeze on household finances has eased, with wage growth just outstripping inflation, which is helping growth to pick up.

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"While an interest rate rise is positive news for people living on their savings income, or holding pensions and investments, it may prove to be the tipping point for those in financial difficulty or struggling with debt", said Richard Haymes, head of financial difficulties at credit data firm TDX Group.

It was widely expected that Reserve Bank of India will wait for the full impact of increase in minimum support price (MSP) for kharif foodgrains, the monsoon progress and the US Fed outcome before hiking rates in October.

Yes Bank's managing director and chief executive officer, Rana Kapoor, said, "With peak of CPI inflation now behind us, and monetary transmission playing out gradually hereon, I expect a pause in the remainder of FY19".

In the subsequent years, RBI cut the interest rate on six occasions.

The pound fell 0.5% against the United States dollar and 0.2% versus the euro, despite the rate rise and unexpected unanimous backing of the MPC for the move.

In the minutes of the MPC's meeting, the Bank said: "Recent data appeared to confirm that the dip in United Kingdom output in the first quarter had been temporary, with momentum recovering in the second quarter".

Rana Kapoor, MD & CEO, Yes Bank: The RBI rate hike is a rational response to the recent acceleration in inflation momentum.

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