Bank of England plays down prospect of interest rate cut: The Bank of England is making a concerted effort to play down the possibility that it will respond to inflation falling to zero with a fresh cut in interest rates. Three members of Threadneedle Street’s monetary policy committee separately said that they thought inflation – which is likely to turn negative next month – would bounce back soon.
Northern blocks build on sales growth: The Government’s northern powerhouse message is paying off for the commercial property market, with big sales in the North-west of England contributing to £15 billion of U.K. turnover in the first quarter.
Museum looks to lay its hat in Smithfield: The Museum of London is expected to announce that it wants to move from the Barbican to the City’s Smithfield Market months after a developer lost a battle to convert the historic site into shops and offices.
UK BBA mortgage approvals recorded a rise in February
In the UK, BBA mortgage approvals recorded a rise to 37.31 K in February, compared to a revised reading of 36.52 K in the previous month. Market anticipations were for BBA mortgage approvals to advance to a level of 36.65 K.
* BoE's Miles says rates more likely to rise than fall - FT
* Miles sees "striking" absence of deflation pressure
* Shafik and Forbes expect low inflation to be temporary
* In contrast, chief economist flagged rate cut risk (Adds detail from Miles interview, wraps in other policymaker comments)
By David Milliken
LONDON, March 25 (Reuters) - Three Bank of England policymakers said on Wednesday they saw little chance of a cut in interest rates in the face of tumbling inflation, distancing themselves from the position of the central bank's chief economist.
BoE chief economist Andy Haldane surprised some observers by saying last week that a recent sharp slowdown in inflation meant the bank was as likely as not to cut rates - a view previously rejected by BoE Governor Mark Carney.
David Miles, a member of the BoE's Monetary Policy Committee who repeatedly voted for more stimulus in 2013, said in an interview with the Financial Times that deflationary pressures were "striking by their absence" in Britain.
British consumer price inflation hit an all-time low of zero percent last month, but the BoE has forecast that any foray into negative territory will be fleeting as falling unemployment and a gradual pick-up in wages should ensure strong consumer demand.
This contrasts with the situation in the euro zone, where earlier this month the European Central Bank launched a trillion-euro programme of bond purchases to bring sub-zero inflation closer to its target of just under 2 percent.
Miles said he could imagine the BoE raising rates while inflation was still significantly below its own 2 percent target because of the long time-lag that interest rate changes need to affect the economy and dwindling spare capacity.
"It is more likely than not that the next move in (interest rates) will be up. Quite when that will come will depend on how the data play out," he said.
House price optimism rebounded in February as inflation continued to fall and the chances of a base rate rise faded, according to Haifax.
Its latest confidence tracker shows those confident about house prices improved from a net balance of 52 per cent in January to a net balance of 60 per cent in February. The lender said confidence improved among buyers and sellers, both of which registered all-time highs.
Profits at UK housebuilder Bellway jumped by more than a half in the first six months of its financial year, prompting the company to hiked its interim dividend by 56.3% to 25p per share. Pre-tax profit was up 53.1% at £158.9m in the half year ended 31 January.
House price slip fails to help first-timers: House price growth has continued to edge down from the double-digit increase of last year, but experts say that many would-be buyers are still locked out of the market.
Datafeed and UK data supplied by NBTrader and Digital Look.
While London South East do their best to maintain the high quality of the information displayed on this site,
we cannot be held responsible for any loss due to incorrect information found here. All information is provided free of charge, 'as-is', and you use it at your own risk.
The contents of all 'Chat' messages should not be construed as advice and represent the opinions of the authors, not those of London South East Limited, or its affiliates.
London South East does not authorise or approve this content, and reserves the right to remove items at its discretion.