BoE Strongly Expected to Leave Rates on Hold

He argued that the "underlying pace of growth remains more resilient than the headline data suggest", though the bank still had to revise down its forecast for this year's growth to 1.4 percent from 1.8 percent. And this is what warrants only very gradual and limited path of interest rate hikes in the UK. The lower 2018 growth prediction reflected the early weakness, Bloomberg said.

Despite the modest and likely short lived nature of the slowdown, there are some signs that a rate hike might not come even at the next MPC meeting in June. This is good news for borrowers but piles yet more misery on savers.

But Craig Inches, head of rates and cash at Royal London Asset Management, said the bank had missed another opportunity to raise rates.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has defended himself against a charge that his public comments on interest rate moves lack credibility.

Any decline in full time employment may give investors incentive to pile out of CAD exchange rates, as a looser labour market would encourage the Bank of Canada (BOC) to remain on hold for longer.

He said Thursday that rates would rise, albeit modestly, if the economy evolves in line with the bank's new projections.

In November, the BoE raised rates for the first time in over a decade, reversing a cut made shortly after the Brexit vote.

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'Despite the welcome agreement on a transition period, the terms on which the United Kingdom will trade with the European Union and beyond that period remain to be determined. The bank's quarterly economic forecasts suggest the next increase may not happen until the latter part of this year, though. There's still a lot of uncertainty over Britain's post-Brexit relationship with the EU.

Ben Brettell, senior economist at financial provider Hargreaves Lansdown, adds: "Personally, I think we might not see a rate rise for the rest of the year". Wage growth was forecast to pick up slightly less strongly this year than had been forecast before.

"As previously, however, that judgement relies on the economic data evolving broadly in line with the Committee's projections", it continued, suggesting that if the United Kingdom economy remains weak, rate hikes may not be on the table.

- Bank of England inflation report downgrades Q2 2018 growth by 0.4%.

GBP/EUR fell from 1.1450 to 1.1380 after the release of the report.

Data turned particularly sour across the month of April. But these expectations can change rapidly - less than a month ago, the probability of a hike today was as high as 90 pct.

For the two dissenters on the MPC - Ian McCafferty and Michael Saunders - the case for an immediate rate rise had not changed, given the "temporary or erratic" first quarter growth data.

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