Thursday, November 09, 2006

It seems likely that the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England will raise interest rates today. This has been widely predicted since the last hike two months ago. But there are some very recent signs that the economy's buoyancy may not be sufficient to warrant such an increase. Manufacturing output has fallen for the first time in months, growth in industrial production has slowed almost to a standstill, sales on the high street have slowed down, oil prices have fallen, the trade deficit has shrunk, and business confidence is down. It is rare for the MPC to confound the commentators in the press, so I expect interest rates to go up - whether that is a good thing or not is another question.