- The Bank of England held interest rates at a 15-year peak on Thursday and said it did not expect to cut them any time soon as it fights to "squeeze out of the system" the highest inflation of the world's big rich economies.
- Despite publishing forecasts which show the British economy skirting close to a recession and flat-lining in the coming years, the BoE held the Bank Rate at 5.25% for the second meeting in a row after 14 back-to-back increases.
- It also reinforced its message that borrowing costs were set to stay high - sending the pound modestly higher against the euro and dollar - even though only about half of the impact of its long run of rate hikes has been felt in the economy so far.
- The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted 6-3 to keep the benchmark rate on hold, in line with expectations in a Reuters poll of economists.
- "The MPC's latest projections indicate that monetary policy is likely to need to be restrictive for an extended period of time," the BoE said, adding that further tightening would be required if inflationary pressures persisted.
- In September, the British central bank had said rates would need to remain "sufficiently restrictive for sufficiently long."
- Governor Andrew Bailey also tried to hammer home the message that inflation's fall over the past year from its highest since the 1980s, and the weaker economic outlook, should not be seen as a sign that rate cuts might soon be on the table.
- "We will be watching closely to see if further increases in interest rates are needed," he told a press conference. "But even if they are not needed, it is much too early to be thinking about rate cuts."