SMPC votes to hold interest rates - June 2008

SMPC votes overwhelmingly against interest rate cut

In its latest monthly poll the IEA Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) voted by eight votes to one to maintain UK Bank Rate at 5%. The one dissenting SMPC member favoured a 0.25% reduction to 4.75%. Looking further ahead, four of the SMPC holds had a bias to ease, two of the holders had a bias to tighten, and two holders and the sole rate-cutter had a neutral bias thereafter. All the SMPC members recognised that the UK monetary authorities faced a worsening dilemma, following the rise in consumer price inflation to 3%, when the problems in the market for credit had not been resolved, and the prospects for the global economy remained uncertain. Several SMPC members discussed the extent to which previous errors by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) were responsible for the deterioration in Britain’s economic performance, as opposed to external factors and the profligate UK fiscal background, over which the MPC had no control.

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