The Governor of the Bank of England (BoE) has just said, as it released its Quarterly Inflation Report, that it expects to reduce stimulus more than the market is currently pricing.
Yet the bond market rallies.
The BoE reduced growth and wage expectations for next year, while still predicting above-target inflation three years out, and keeping alive the prospect for a rate hike. One way to square that circle is if it has lowered its assumptions about the potential growth of the economy – meaning that even if we beat trend growth just a little bit, we will be reducing slack in the economy, enough to warrant a reduction in stimulus. In other words, the UK has an even lower bar to beat. This could be seen to be hawkish.
Yet the first reaction of the market was one of scepticism, pushing out rate hike expectations even further. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) may now face a communication problem. It has to convince the market that it is serious about raising interest rates, after the hawkish noises heard earlier in the summer were not followed through in today’s vote (as per our earlier article, http://bondtalk.co.uk/macro/monetary-policy-soft-or-hard-approach-not-just-a-political-dilemma/ Haldane could have made it 5-3, yet the vote was 6-2).
Perhaps the best way for the MPC to communicate that it wants the market to price higher interest rates is to actually deliver and reduce the stimulus put in place last August – that will certainly get the market’s attention.