The Bank of England (BoE) is expected to keep rates on hold again at today’s policy meeting. This is against a backdrop of global market turmoil and further decline in oil prices, in addition to comments made in January by the BoE Governor, Mark Carney, that the UK economy is not strong enough for a rate rise. Along with the policy announcement, markets will weigh in the BoE’s quarterly economic review and inflation forecasts today, to read between the lines for any changes in the central bank’s inflation outlook and its dovish stance with respect to the expected timing of the first rate rise.
Economic news across the globe has quietly picked up pace today, this is amidst global growth concerns which came to the fore in the wake of recent market turmoil. In the UK, the just out economic data revealed that the nation’s trade deficit with the rest of the world widened in the fourth quarter, likely dragging on economic growth. Meanwhile, figures also showed that the UK trade gap in December narrowed more than estimates. This morning also saw a raft of relatively unimpressive German data. German factory output unexpectedly contracted in December and the nation’s trade surplus narrowed far more sharply than had anticipated. Later, the NFIB’s small business optimism and JOLTS job opening numbers are scheduled for release in the US.