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“Despite better economic activity over the past few months, Brexit remains the Bank of England’s number one priority,” note ING analysts. “We expect a unanimous vote to keep policy unchanged this week and don’t expect any further rate rises before May 2019 at the very earliest.”

Key quotes

“In any other situation, we suspect the Bank of England would have been looking to increase interest rates pretty soon. Wage growth – something which has been at the heart of the Bank’s rate hike rationale has been surprisingly strong over the past few months. But inevitably, Brexit remains policymakers’ number one consideration. Given that it may still be quite some time before we really know for sure if a deal will be in place before the UK formally leaves the EU, there is a risk that growth slows as businesses and consumers grow more cautious.”

“That means we’re likely to see a unanimous vote to keep policy unchanged at Thursday’s meeting, and we don’t expect a rate hike before May 2019.”

“Given the mounting uncertainty surrounding the negotiations, the BoE’s ‘smooth Brexit’ assumption is looking challenged. Even though our base case is that a deal will be agreed, and in the end ratified by the UK parliament, there is a clear risk that this doesn’t happen until we’re really close to the UK’s scheduled exit date.”

“Without the certainty that a deal will be in place in March, an increasing number of firms are likely to implement contingency plans, and this would inevitably put pressure on investment and hiring. If firms continue to become more vocal about the risks, consumer confidence could also take a hit, making for another challenging Christmas trading period for retailers. Taken together, that could see growth momentum slow over the winter.”