For immediate release
Bank of England expected to hold rates until 20 June meeting, according to a panel of experts
- Half of experts predict the base rate will be brought down in the 20 June MPC meeting.
- A further 2 out of 10 believe the base rate will be lowered in the 01 August meeting.
- 7 out of 10 experts believe the base rate will sit at 4.5% by the end of 2024.
01, February, 2024, LONDON –
A panel of experts are in agreement that the base rate will not come down until at least 20 June 2024, according to new research conducted by personal finance comparison website, finder.com.
Finder brought together an expert panel of academics, economists, mortgage and savings experts, to ask them for their predictions on what will happen to the base rate for the rest of 2024, and the impact this will have on the UK economy.
70% do not expect the base rate to fall until at least 20 June, with 50% predicting the MPC will choose to lower rates in the meeting on 20 June, and 20% believing that the base rate will not be brought down until the following meeting on 1 August.
These experts believe that the Bank of England is likely to take a much more cautious approach to battling inflation, and will therefore be in no rush to bring interest rates down prematurely. Luciano Rispoli, senior lecturer in economics at the University of Surrey, explained, “I think the Bank will want to adopt a “wait-and-see” approach. It’s true inflation is coming down but, in my view, the monetary policy committee wants to see more continuous sustained decreases towards the 2% target”. He added that cutting interest rates at this point “might ‘undo’ all the progress made in terms of battling inflationary pressures”.
George Sweeney, deputy editor at finder.com, echoed this sentiment, adding “I don’t expect them to make forward-thinking changes like lowering rates until they have hard data (which is backwards-looking) that clearly spells out an easing of inflationary pressure”.
David Hollingworth, associate director at L&C Mortgages, expects the Bank of England will wait until 01 August to bring down interest rates. He notes that “the MPC has been clear that it will not rush to cut rates until inflation is under tight control and the recent inflation numbers proved that this won’t be a journey without some bumps along the way”.
Other experts predicted that the base rate may come down sooner than this, with 20% under the belief that the base rate will be lowered in the meeting on 9 May, citing the anticipated decline in energy prices as a key driving factor. Sam Miley, managing economist and forecasting lead at CEBR, explained, “Inflation is expected to slow sharply from April as a result of energy price changes. This is the first meeting after that policy change”.
Just one of the experts expects interest rates to fall in the meeting on 21 March. Alan Shipman, senior lecturer in economics at the Open University, said, “by March, the weakness of investment and GDP growth will make it clearer that the Bank raised rates too far, too fast in 2022 and 2023”.
Experts agree that the base rat will fall to 4.5% by the end of 2024
When asked what they predict the base rate will be in the final MPC meeting of the year (19 December), 7 out of 10 expect interest rates to fall to 4.5%. The experts noted the potential risks of a minor recession but remained optimistic that rates would gradually come down throughout the second half of the year.
Kate Steere, editor at finder.com said, “If rate cuts are not starting until mid-way through 2024, the bank will want to do this gradually so it can monitor the impact. It remains a balancing act between tackling inflation and protecting economic growth”.
David Hollingworth echoed this sentiment, adding “Unless the first cut comes soon that could mean that we don’t see the rate cuts even reach a full percentage point before the end of the year”.
Despite expectations that there will be “a slow downward trajectory for rates”, David McMillan, professor in finance at the University of Stirling, also noted that current geopolitical risks could derail these predictions. He said, “There obviously remains risks on the horizon, predominantly in the form of geopolitical risks, which could have an impact on energy prices. This could, however, have the double effect of raising inflation while tipping the UK into a deeper recession”.
The remaining members of the panel were undecided, with 1 out of 10 predicting a fall to 4%, 1 out of 10 anticipating a fall to 3.75% and 1 in 10 believing that the rate will sit at 4.75% by the end of the year.
Luciano Rispoli, who expects interest rates to fall by a more modest 0.5% by the end of 2024, explained that “the economy has just embarked on a downward path in terms of inflation adjustment and decreasing interest rates significantly might work against this”.
To see the findings of the panel in full visit: https://www.finder.com/uk/base-rate-survey
The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com's review pages for the current correct values.
finder.com is a personal finance website, which helps consumers compare products online so they can make better informed decisions. Consumers can visit the website to compare utilities, mortgages, credit cards, insurance products, shopping voucher codes, and so much more before choosing the option that best suits their needs.
Best of all, finder.com is completely free to use. We’re not a bank or insurer, nor are we owned by one, and we are not a product issuer or a credit provider. We’re not affiliated with any one institution or outlet, so it’s genuine advice from a team of experts who care about helping you find better.
finder.com launched in the UK in February 2017 and is privately owned and self-funded by two Australian entrepreneurs – Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia – who successfully grew finder.com.au to be Australia's most visited personal finance website (Source: Experian Hitwise).