The big news of the prior week as the interest rate decision delivered by the Bank of England. Although the Monetary Policy Committee opted not to adjust the benchmark interest rate which currently sits at 0.25% or expand quantitative easing, they have hinted they could cut rates further in response to softening economic activity. Although inflation remains intact and manufacturing has picked up while unemployment remains on hold at 4.90%, it still remains to be seen whether or not it will be enough accommodation for the UK to avoid a recession. Outside of the UK, inflation figures reported last week across Europe showed a mixed picture, but was somewhat positive. On an aggregate basis for the Euro Area, annualized headline inflation rose by 0.20%, matching estimates and the prior figure. The main drag was Spain which remained in deflationary territory year over year at -0.10%, with new elections forecast to be held in the coming months after the last elections failed to produce a new coalition government. Euro Area industrial production was notably weaker, falling -0.50% year over year after sliding -1.10% month over month. The week ended with inflation data from the United States coming in hotter than anticipated, with headline CPI printing at 1.10% versus 0.80% prior and core headline CPI at 2.30% on an annualized basis, raising the possibility of action on rates from the FOMC in the coming week.
Markets Tense Ahead of Major Central Bank Decisions
Weekly Report - 18/09/2016