Carney keeps the pound pressured

Support Mc Donnell joins protesters

Support Mc Donnell joins protesters

Governor Mark Carney nonetheless sought to keep alive the possibility of one next year. So, just a small improvement in growth could bring forward a rate hike.

"Households looked through Brexit-related uncertainties initially, but more recently - as the consequences of sterling's fall have shown up in the shops and squeezed their real incomes - they have cut back on spending, slowing the economy", the Canadian national told a press conference.

"Monetary policy can only do so much".

But investors saw no sign that the BoE was in a hurry to raise rates, a contrast to the outcome of its June meeting.

But while the pound soared against the dollar, it remained around half a cent away from its lowest levels in nine months against the euro, down 0.1 percent on the day at 89.50 pence EURGBP=D3.

It's more than a decade since the Bank of England last sprang a surprise rate increase on the market, with a hike in January 2007 that wasn't anticipated by any of the 22 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

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"The MPC has long emphasised that the effects on inflation of the Brexit process would be the product of its impact on demand, supply and the exchange rate".

The assumption of a smooth Brexit will be tested.

The bank downgraded its growth projections for 2017 to 1.7 percent from 1.9 percent and that for 2018 to 1.6 percent from 1.7 percent.

Overnight the pound held onto gains made yesterday against the dollar after a non-voting member of the US Federal Reserve monetary policy committee said that an interest rate hike stateside would hold back inflation from its 2pc target. One of the three has since left the committee.

Kristin Forbes' departure from the BoE will likely lead to a 6-2 vote in favor of keeping interest rates unchanged today, with Ian McCafferty and Michael Saunders to remain the two dissenters.

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Chief Economist Andy Haldane made a hawkish shift in a speech a couple of weeks after June's decision, saying a "partial withdrawal of the additional policy insurance the MPC put in place past year would be prudent relatively soon".

While the Bank's growth outlook remains similar to its previous forecast in May, the central bank's forecasters have again reduced their outlook for 2017 growth.

"Brexit even overshadows consumer borrowing, which the Bank has lately sounded anxious about".

Quantitative easing was also unanimously kept unchanged at £435bn and corporate bond purchases remained at £10bn. The MPC also announced that it won't be extending the Term Funding Scheme, which was part of the Brexit stimulus package.

The split on the MPC over what to do with rates highlights the challenge facing the central bank. "If we can't do it when inflation is above target, when unemployment is at its "natural rate" and when growth is reasonable, I don't know when we're going to do it", he said. Against the euro, sterling GBPEUR, -0.8070% slid to €1.1073, trading around its lowest level since November. The outlook for 2019 was maintained at 1.8 percent.

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