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Bank signals interest rate rises ahead

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Landlords should steel themselves for interest rate rises in the months ahead.

This was the underlying message given in the Bank of England’s latest monthly Monetary Policy Committee review of the Bank Rate.

The committee is charged with maintaining inflation at no more than 2 per cent. And it expects the rate to go well beyond this, reaching a high of around 5 per cent in April next year.

Even so, the MPC’s November meeting judged that its ‘existing stance of monetary policy remained appropriate’. By a majority of seven to two the committee voted to keep the Bank Rate at 0.1 per cent.

But there was a proviso. The accompanying November Monetary Policy Report ‘gives a market-implied path for Bank Rate that rises to around 1 per cent by the end of 2022’, said the Bank.

The annual inflation rate fell from 3.2 per cent in August to 3.1 per cent in September. ‘Bank staff expect inflation to rise to just under 4 per cent in October, accounted for predominantly by the impact on utility bills of past strength in wholesale gas prices’. Inflation is then expected to rise to 4.5 per cent in November ‘and remain around that level through the winter’ before peaking at 5 per cent in April.

‘Some modest tightening of monetary policy’ is likely to be necessary, said the Bank. Given what has happened, the outlook remains uncertain but it is likely to be necessary to increase the Bank Rate in the coming months.