Interest rates - what today's no-change decision means for your investments


We expect the BoE to raise rates by 25bp in November of this year, and if the global backdrop is similarly robust going in to 2019 then, much like the US Federal Reserve, the BoE could settle in to a more significant pace of normalisation next year.

Although rates remain at a very affordable level, even a slight increase could have further dampened the hunger of United Kingdom home buyers, and in a misfiring market that is already struggling to whet their appetite, this may have further stunted price growth.

Export growth and investment should be particularly important drivers of growth, aided by the weak pound, the Bank believes. In February, Mr Carney said rates might need to rise somewhat faster than markets had expected.

The Bank of England had upgraded its growth forecasts and in March two members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) broke ranks and voted for an immediate rate rise.

The financial markets are now indicating there will be an interest rate increase towards the end of the year followed by another in 2019, and a further one in 2020.

For the bloc, investors are now chewing over the European Central Bank's (ECB) latest economic bulletin, although this release mostly reiterated concerns over inflation and global factors whilst remaining optimistic about growth.

Sterling lost nearly a cent against the dollar, but the real damage had been done in the weeks leading up to today, with the pound nearly eight cents weaker than four weeks ago.

In April, Carney sent sterling downwards when he suggested the Bank of England would not rush into a rates hike due to mixed economic messages.

The pound was hit by the Bank's downbeat assessment of the United Kingdom economy - revealed in the quarterly inflation report it published alongside its rates decision today - which implies that a rate rise in the coming months is unlikely.

The BoE's quarterly Inflation Report, also published today, said the U.K.'s CPI inflation "has fallen back more rapidly than expected three months ago" and is forecast to reach its target of 2 percent in two years rather than in 2021.

"The Committee's best collective judgement therefore remains that, were the economy to develop broadly in line with the May Inflation Report projections, an ongoing tightening of monetary policy over the forecast period would be appropriate to return inflation sustainably to its target at a conventional horizon", it said in a summary of the MPC's meeting.

Bank economists think the first-quarter growth figure was distorted by unusually cold weather and will eventually be revised up to 0.3%.

The Bank of England leaves interest rates unchanged at 0.5%. In fact, the average five-year fixed rate has only increased from 2.89% to 2.91% over the last year.

CPI Inflation now sits at 2.3% and earlier predictions of solid economic growth through this year had led many to expect the Bank to vote to increase the base rate from 0.5%, where it has been for much of the past 8 years, bar a dip to 0.25% during 2017.

Stuart Law, chief executive of business P2P lender Assetz Capital, said he wasn't surprised by the decision.