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BoE Preview: Major Banks expecting no fireworks today

Today, the market attention has shifted towards the United Kingdom, wherein the outcome of the all-important Bank of England’s March meeting is keenly awaited. With the decision time nearing by, here are the expectations as forecasted by the economists and researchers of major banks.

The consensus amongst most economists and analysts is that due to the peaking Brexit uncertainty, BoE will maintain status quo on its policy rates, with an unanimous 9-0 hold.

Nordea Markets

“We and the consensus expects the BoE to keep its policy rate on hold, as further news on the chaotic Brexit situation is awaited.”

“We think two things will be in focus. Firstly, the possible severe economic consequences of a disorderly exit from the EU, even though Governor Carney recently downplayed the risk a bit compared to the BoE’s Brexit scenario analysis published in December. Secondly, the tight labour market, which has pushed wage growth to the highest level in ten years.”

“The bank may, however, point out some concerns regarding the fall in business investments (due to Brexit uncertainty) as it risks harming the otherwise strong job market in the medium-long run.”

“Overall, we think the market reaction related to the meeting should be limited, as all attention currently is centred around Brexit.”

TD Securities

Analysts at TD Securities are expecting the BoE to remain quiet on the side-lines today as Brexit uncertainty peaks, with a unanimous 9-0 no-change policy meeting.

“We expect a relatively uneventful meeting with policy unanimously left on hold at 0.75%, given the politically-charged atmosphere this week.”

“Recent data has broadly confirmed the BoE’s February outlook, and Brexit uncertainty is likely to leave the MPC shying away from any broader statements on future policy.”

Westpac

“In February, the BOE left the Bank rate unchanged and maintained its very mild tightening bias. However, the assumed tightening was contingent on economic conditions following the UK’s exit from the EU, and the BOE noted that Brexit related uncertainty had intensified.”

“Since the BOE’s last update, economic activity has remained middling. Importantly, there’s been no real progress on Brexit negotiations. Parliament intends to seek an extension to the negotiation period, but for businesses this means the continuation of the economic uncertainty that has been a significant drag on investment plans.”

“Against this backdrop, there’s no chance of a change in the Bank Rate this month, and the BOE will emphasise the conditionality of its forecasts.”

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