The Bank of England (BoE) has opted to leave interest rates on hold after downgrading its growth forecast for the economy.
The BoE’s monetary policy committee voted unanimously to keep rates at 0.75%, in a widely expected decision.
It also downwardly revised growth forecasts for the UK economy, citing Brexit uncertainties and global trade wars for the more subdued figures.
In particular, the Bank of England highlighted market fears over the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit and the shock that could deliver to the economy.
In a statement, the central bank said:
“Globally, trade tensions have intensified. Domestically, the perceived likelihood of a no-deal Brexit has risen. Trade concerns have contributed to volatility in global equity prices and corporate bond spreads, as well as falls in industrial metals prices. Forward interest rates in major economies have fallen materially further. Increased Brexit uncertainties have put additional downward pressure on UK forward interest rates and led to a decline in the sterling exchange rate.
As expected, recent UK data have been volatile, in large part due to Brexit-related effects on financial markets and businesses. After growing by 0.5% in 2019 Q1, GDP is now expected to be flat in Q2.”
The BoE has also commenced its search to find its next governor amid the departure of Mark Carney at the end of his term in January 2020.