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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Barbara Ruszel Economist
Tel: 902-424-1848Email:

December 20, 2018

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted unanimously to maintain the Bank Rate at 0.75 per cent.  The MPC also voted to maintain the stock of UK non-financial corporate bonds stock at £10 billion and the stock of UK government bond purchases at £435 billion.  

The near-term global outlook has softened with downside risks emerging.  Corporate credit markets around the world are tightening, though lower oil prices will support demand in advanced economies (along with lower inflation). 

Recently announced fiscal easing in the UK is expected improve the UK GDP by 0.3 per cent.  However, Brexit uncertainties are intensifying - leading to wider spreads on corporate bond yields than observed in other advanced economies.  The value of the pound has depreciated in a volatile manner while UK equity prices are in decline.

Uncertainties around Brexit and a slowing global economy suggest a slower growth outlook for the UK, as evidenced by recent declines in business investment and housing markets.  Despite these uncertainties, domestic inflationary pressures are building as the labour market is tight and household consumption growth has been more resilient.  The outlook for the UK economy depends on the nature of withdrawal from the EU and the MPC will only tighten monetary policy to a limited extent and at a gradual pace.

Bank of England

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