Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc pushed back its forecast for the first interest-rate increase by the Bank of England to August from May, citing a “lacklustre rebound” in construction activity in February.
The Bank of England will limit how high interest rates increase when officials begin tightening policy as they seek to protect indebted households from derailing the economy, according to a survey of economists.
The global economic expansion is speeding up, data this week are projected to show. In the U.S., a gain in fourth-quarter gross domestic product probably completed the strongest six months of growth in almost two years for the world’s largest economy. The pickup combined with progress in the labor market means Federal Reserve policy makers meeting this week may ease up again on the monetary accelerator.
Unemployment in the U.K. fell to the lowest level since April 2009, China’s economy cooled and U.S. sales of existing homes last year were the strongest since 2006, economic reports are projected to show this week. Elsewhere, price data will dominate, with Brazil likely to show consumer inflation in the month through mid-January rising by the most in a year, while pricing power in Australia also picked up in the fourth quarter.
Bank of England Governor Mervyn King may oversee another stalemate today as faster inflation and conflicting economic signals entrench a three-way split on his Monetary Policy Committee over the need for more stimulus.