‘The UK recovery has gained momentum and inflation has returned to the 2% target. Reduced uncertainty, easier credit conditions and the stimulative stance of monetary policy should support continued solid economic growth, with the expansion in demand becoming more entrenched and more broadly based. Robust growth has not so far been accompanied by a material pickup in productivity. Instead, employment gains have been exceptionally strong and unemployment has fallen much more rapidly than expected. The LFS headline unemployment rate is likely to reach the MPC’s 7% threshold by the spring of this year. Even so, the Committee judges that there remains spare capacity, concentrated in the labour market. Inflation is likely to remain close to the target over the forecast period. Given this, and with spare capacity remaining, the MPC judges that there remains scope to absorb slack further before raising Bank Rate. Moreover, the continuation of significant headwinds — both at home and from abroad — mean that Bank Rate may need to remain at low levels for some time to come.”
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