Tags: BOE | Purchases | Three-Way | Split

Bank of England Poised to Buy More Bonds After October’s Three-Way Split

Wednesday, 20 Oct 2010 07:12 AM

Bank of England policy makers are starting to lean towards further emergency bond purchases to shore up the country’s recovery as the government unveils the biggest budget cuts since World War II.

“Some of the members felt the likelihood that further monetary stimulus would become necessary in order to meet the inflation target in the medium term had increased in recent months,” minutes of this month’s Monetary Policy Committee showed today. Still, seven of the bank’s nine officials voted for no policy change. Adam Posen demanded more bond purchases and Andrew Sentance opted for an interest-rate increase.

Governor Mervyn King yesterday signaled he may be open to stepping up asset purchases to prevent deflationary pressures from emerging in the economy. While inflation is still above the government’s 3 percent limit, the outlook is being clouded by Prime Minister David Cameron ’s plans to virtually eliminate the U.K.’s 156 billion-pound ($246 billion) deficit by 2015.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will give details of his planned spending cuts at 12:30 p.m. today.

“We may be moving toward a situation where more quantitative easing becomes more likely, but the bank is going to wait until it has the inflation report in November at the earliest,” said George Buckley , an economist at Deutsche Bank AG in London. “The level of uncertainty in the economy makes it quite reasonable that we have a split committee.”

Potent Weapon

The yield on the 10-year U.K. government bond was little changed at 2.982 percent after the minutes. The Bank of England voted this month to keep its main rate at 0.5 percent and bond purchases at 200 billion pounds. Further purchases would see the Bank of England joining its Japanese counterparts in stepping up emergency measures. The Federal Reserve has signaled it may also buy more assets to bolster U.S. growth.

King said in a speech yesterday that some gauges of U.K. inflation are “extremely subdued” and that monetary policy remains a “potent weapon.” Posen’s view, expressed in today’s minutes, is that the current degree of spare capacity “was sufficiently large that monetary policy could afford to encourage more rapid growth without risking an undesirable increase in underlying inflationary pressures.”

Sentance has said since June that the economy is strong enough for the Bank of England to begin a withdrawal of stimulus by raising rates to tame inflation. According to the minutes, he argued that by “failing to respond to persistent above-target inflation, which was forecast to continue for some time, the committee risked a loss of credibility.”

Fading Recovery

Economic growth will slow by more than half to 0.5 percent in the third quarter, after expanding at the fastest pace in nine years in the three months through June, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research said today.

“We continue to think that the fading recovery will persuade the remaining members to sanction more QE, perhaps early next year,” said Samuel Tombs, U.K. economist at Capital Economics Ltd. in London.

For now, the Bank of England’s task is being complicated by an inflation rate that exceeded the government’s limit for a seventh month in September, with consumer prices rising 3.1 percent from a year earlier. Niesr said today that the central bank should refrain from increasing stimulus until next year and take more time to judge the pace of economic recovery.

Officials are “conscious that the continuing high level of inflation poses the risk that inflation expectations may move up,” King said in Dudley, England late yesterday. Still, the danger that slack in the economy will push price-growth below the bank’s target is “at least as large.”

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Bank of England policy makers are starting to lean towards further emergency bond purchases to shore up the country s recovery as the government unveils the biggest budget cuts since World War II. Some of the members felt the likelihood that further monetary stimulus...
BOE,Purchases,Three-Way,Split
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2010-12-20
Wednesday, 20 Oct 2010 07:12 AM
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