The Bank of England just cut interest rates after seven years of preparing for a hike
Since the global financial crisis, the Bank of England has been biding its time, laying the groundwork to hike interest rates once the British economy was sufficiently healed. That, after all, is how it worked across the Atlantic, when the US Fed raised rates in December after a long spell of maintaining near-zero rates.
But after seven years of sitting on their hands, British policymakers were stirred into action today (Aug. 4) to do something they weren’t expecting even a few months ago—the bank cut its benchmark rate to a new all-time low of 0.25%, from 0.5%, in an effort to contain the economic fallout after the UK voted to leave the European Union in a referendum in June.
“The decision to leave the European Union marks a regime change,” Bank of England governor Mark Carney said in a press conference. “The economic outlook has changed markedly, with the largest revision to our GDP forecast since the MPC [Monetary Policy Committee] was formed almost two decades ago.” Full Story