SMPC votes Five / Four to Hold Bank Rate in April
An economic analysis of the Treasury’s treatment of privately rented housing
Shadow Monetary Policy Committee votes to hold bank rate
At its second full meeting of 2019, held in April, the Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) voted by a narrow margin to keep Bank rate at 0.75%. Five voted to hold rates and four voted for a ¼ point rise.
Four main reasons were given by those voting to keep rates at 0.75%. First, raising rates was not appropriate amidst the UK and global economic slowdown. Second, continued Brexit uncertainty, which was holding back business investment and that could now persist until the Autumn with the six-month extension to the leave date. Third, weak and below target consumer price inflation. Fourth, growth in broad money supply M4 easing to its lowest annual rate since 2011, when the economy expanded by 1%.
Arguments for a rate hike were partly based around the continued better-than-expected performance of the UK economy. Despite Brexit uncertainty, the economy was likely to grow faster than Germany and France this year. This prompted some members to switch their vote from a hold to a rise.