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Inflation Up to 3% – Bellwether for Interest Rates?

17.10.17

Today saw the release of the latest UK inflation figures which came in as expected at 3%.

The latest inflation figures were always going to be looked at as a bellwether for the next interest rate decision for the Bank of England and this figure of 3% may be the catalyst to spur them on to increase rates in November.

Whilst the Governor narrowly avoids having to write a letter of explanation to the Chancellor, inflation is now at its highest level since April 2012 which will heap pressure on the MPC to be decisive.

The real question is whether they will have the metal to actually follow through with this move after the markets have already priced in a 0.25% rise and mortgage lenders have begun to increase their fixed rate offerings accordingly.

Although there have been recent warnings that it would be premature to increase rates now given the uncertainty of the resilience of the UK economy, the Bank of England may be keen to provide an extra buffer in case they need to cut rates again should the Brexit negotiations fail to provide an unsuitable outcome.

With average house prices in the UK increasing by 5.0% in the year to August 2017 and the average UK house price now standing at £226,000 in August 2017, prospective buyers will be hoping that the Government goes through with rumoured changes in Stamp Duty to help ease the burden for First Time Buyers.