4 Nov

Poll reveals rate cut expectations

Poll reveals rate cut expectations

The Bank of England's monetary policy committee (MPC) is widely expected to cut the base rate by half a per cent this week, a new poll has found.

In its regular pre-meeting survey Reuters found that all 62 economists questioned expect at least a half-point cut, while seven believe the reduction will be 0.75 per cent.

Some have even tipped a one per cent cut, such as Alan Clarke of BNP Paribas, who told the news agency: "The MPC needs to judge where the appropriate level of bank rate is."

Such a rate reduction could have a major impact on the cost of mortgages, something that could help first-time buyers.

The Bank of England has not cut interest rates by more than 0.5 per cent since it was given monetary policy independence in 1997.

Interest rates were last cut by as much as one per cent in January 1993.

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