Bank of England falls further behind in race to tame inflation

Plain-speaking Economics

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has raised interest rates by just a quarter point, to 1.25 per cent. This was the fifth increase in as many meetings, but still leaves rates near historic lows. In my view, this was a mistake.

This decision is hard to square with April’s consumer price inflation figure of 9 per cent, or the Bank’s own expectations that the CPI measure will now top 11 per cent in October. Nonetheless, the MPC judged (by a majority of 6 to 3) that not enough had happened since it last met in May to justify a different pace of tightening.

To be fair, there were no ‘game changers’ in the latest economic data. The April GDP figures were a little weaker than expected and there are still few signs of the wage-price spiral that some fear. Against this, other indicators suggest that private sector…

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