United Kingdom gilts slump ahead of BoE's monetary policy meeting, Gov Carney's speech

Bank of England cuts growth forecasts on Boris Johnson's Brexit deal

Mark Carney says Boris Johnson's Brexit deal could result in a 'pick-up' in UK economic growth

Today's forecasts represent the first time that the Bank has modelled the potential impact of Mr Johnson's Brexit deal on which he is fighting the general election.

Alarm over a darkening global climate prompted two of the Bank's nine Monetary Policy Committee members to vote for an immediate cut in interest rates, which were held unchanged at 0.75pc.

But with the 2019 United Kingdom election perceived as one of the most unpredictable public polls since the 2016 Brexit referendum, forecasts are for prevailing political uncertainty in the weeks ahead.

"The MPC meanwhile added the key line to its statement that "if global growth fails to stabilise or if Brexit uncertainties remain entrenched, monetary policy may need to reinforce the expected recovery in UK GDP growth and inflation".

And in an unexpected sign of discord within the bank, two members of the monetary policy committee voted to lower interest rates.

Today's focus is on the Bank of England; this is a "super Thursday", when markets will get the full works including an updated set of forecasts in the Monetary Policy Report and a press conference from Governor Carney, Lloyds Bank reported.

This comes despite its counterparts in Europe and America recently moving to reduce rates in the face of slowing global growth.

While interest-rate cuts would of course cause issues for the value of the British pound, the reality is that nobody cares about interest rates at this point and it's all about Brexit.

There are huge uncertainties to the forecasts, though, not least because the December 12 general election has the potential to radically alter Brexit.

"We wouldn't rule out another hung parliament, which could either prolong Brexit uncertainty or alternatively see a Labour-led minority government begin organizing a second Brexit referendum", said James Smith, an economist at ING.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for an early election to break the Brexit impasse in the hope of gaining a majority in parliament to be able to pass his Brexit deal.

But over the next couple of years, the BoE sees economic growth picking up from 1.4% in 2019 to 2.0% in 2022.

The central bank said that if Parliament ratifies Mr. Johnson's Brexit deal and the government inks a free-trade agreement with the European Union similar to the bloc's pact with Canada, then the economy would notch up slow but steady growth in the years ahead. The bank cut its growth forecast for next year to 1.2% for 2020 from 1.3%, and to 1.8% in 2021 from 2.3%.

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