Here comes the Bank of England …

Bank of England graphic

  • The Bank of England is set to hike interest rates for just the second time since the financial crisis on Thursday.
  • Britain’s central bank is expected to raise rates from 0.5% to 0.75%, taking the UK’s base rate of interest to its highest level since March 2009.
  • Markets are pricing in a more than 90% chance of a hike.
  • The bank’s decision will be announced at 12.00 p.m. BST (7.00 a.m. ET), with a press conference from Governor Mark Carney 30 minutes later.

The Bank of England is set to raise interest rates for just the second time since the financial crisis.

If financial market expectations are met, Britain’s central bank should raise rates from 0.5% to 0.75%, taking the UK’s base rate of interest to its highest level since March 2009. Markets are pricing a more than 90% chance of a hike, according to the latest data.

The rate hike is set to be one of the most divisive decisions in recent bank history, with opinions split on whether increasing borrowing costs will be a good idea going forward.

Governor Mark Carney and the other eight members of the bank’s rate setting Monetary Policy Committee have been signalling that a hike is likely to come at some point in 2018, and Thursday looks like the day it will happen.

The decision is as close to a certainty as exists in the world of central banking, but the announcement is still full of intrigue, with the bank likely to signal whether its future guidance for interest rates has shifted, and with Governor Carney set to face questions from reporters.

The Bank of England’s announcement will be made at 12.00 p.m. BST (7.00 a.m. ET), while a press conference from Carney and two of his deputies will follow 30 minutes later.

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