BoE decision will do little to control rising inflation, warns IEA economist
Annabel Denham writes for The Spectator
Victoria Hewson comments for City AM
“The Bank of England has done the bare minimum today – and it is not enough.
“Macroeconomic policy is now in an even bigger mess. Fiscal policy is too tight and monetary policy is too loose, increasing the risks of stagflation.
“Despite new forecasts that UK inflation will rise to above 10 per cent later this year, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has raised interest rates by just a quarter of a point, to 1 per cent.
“What’s more, the MPC has failed to begin the process of reversing the money printing that has allowed inflation to take off.
“Instead, the MPC has simply asked Bank staff to work up a plan for gilt sales (do they not have one already?), and report back in August. Active ‘quantitative tightening’ may not start until the autumn.
“There is little that the MPC can do to control inflation in the short term, but a bolder move today could have helped to reduce the risk that inflation remains higher for longer.
“Fears that higher interest rates could tip the economy into a deeper recession are exaggerated. Even at 1 per cent, UK interest rates remain near emergency lows. Real interest rates (after allowing for inflation) are even lower.
“It is also important to take a longer view. The Bank should have done much more now to keep inflation expectations down and to reduce the need for bigger interest rate hikes in future.”
Notes to editors
Contact: Emily Carver, Head of Media, 07715 942 731 IEA spokespeople are available for interview and further comment.
- The IEA’s Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) voted to raise interest rates to 1.5 per cent in their April meeting.
- The minutes of the April meeting can be found here: Minutes of the SMPC meeting of 12 April 2022
- Further IEA reading: Inflation: The next threat? by Dr Juan Castañeda and Professor Tim Congdon