Closed BoE rate decision, Brexit court case – as it happened

EU referendum

The Bank of England has increased it forecasts for growth and inflation for this year and next, part of its quarterly update on the economy. It also held interest rates.

Meanwhile the UK government has lost its case in the High Court over whether it can trigger Article 50 without a parliamentary vote, and will now file an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Key developments

  • The BoE now expects inflation to hit 2.7% next year, and stay that high in 2018

  • The Bank unanimously voted to hold hold interest rates

  • The UK government has lost its case on triggering Article 50 in the High Court, and will appeal

  • UK services PMI rises to 54.5 from 52.6 – fastest pace of growth since January

Welcome to our live coverage of what is set to be a bumper day for UK economy and markets watchers.

The early moves in the equity markets have been pretty tame so far – the FTSE 100 is up +0.2 per cent to 6,858.89, while the FTSE 250 is higher by +0.4 per cent.

The pound is up around +0.2 per cent against the US dollar to $1.233, though it is worth noting that the dollar has been weakening against a range of currencies as markets increasingly fret about the outcome of the US elections.

We’ve just got the UK services PMI for October, and it’s more good news for the economy after the index rose to 54.5 from 52.6 in the previous month. That’s the fastest pace of growth since January. Any number above 50 indicates expansion.

Markit’s chief business economist said the data showed “an encouraging picture of the economy gaining further growth momentum”. More from him:

Business activity is growing at a rate consistent with solid economic growth of 0.4-0.5% in the fourth quarter (the surveys suggest the initial 0.5% GDP growth estimate for the third quarter could be revised slightly lower). What’s especially reassuring is that growth is also becoming more balanced.

Manufacturing is leading the expansion as exporters benefit from the weaker pound, but services growth is also reviving and construction is being boosted by renewed house building.

That positive services data has lifted the pound a touch, giving it the rather pleasing exchange rate of $1.2345 against the US dollar.

There is, however, some bad news in that PMI data set too. It showed input prices rising at their fastest pace in 20 years as a result of the sharp weakening of the pound since the Brexit vote. More here from Markit:

If sustained, the increase in prices threatens to curb both corporate hiring and consumer spending, as firms seek to reduce staff costs and households see their pay eroded by rising inflation

Here’s what that rise in input prices looks like (the “highest in 20 years” figure relates to month-on-month increase).

Meanwhile the Office for National Statistics says the UK economy has been largely unmoved by the Brexit vote, so far.

The ONS data so far have shown an economy largely undisrupted by the UK’s decision to leave the EU. Growth has continued at roughly the same rate seen for the past few years with our large and relatively robust services sector still significantly outperforming the rest of the economy.

You can read a bit more on this over at fastFT.

Judges at the High Court in London have started reading out their verdict on whether Article 50 can be triggered without UK parliamentary approval…

The UK’s High Court has ruled that MPs will get to vote before the government can trigger Article 50.

David Allen Green, FT blogger and legal expert, gives his view on Twitter:

The full text of the High Court ruling is here.

The summary of it is here.

The pound had a brief pop just after that ruling, but has tempered the gains a little. It’s now up +0.7 per cent to $1.2384.

The most immediate question now is: will the government appeal the decision and take it to the Supreme Court?

There has been some speculation that it would not, but Joshua Rozenberg, once of the UK’s best known legal commentators, reckons it is “highly likely”.

A statement from one of the lawyers behind the challenge against the government outside the court:

I’ve never challenged the result of the referendum. In fact I voted for Brexit in the referendum for the sole reason that I wanted power to be returned from Europe to the British parliament. But I did not think it was right for the government just to bypass parliament and try to take away my legal rights without consulting parliament first.

We previously said this statement was from Gina Miller’s lawyer, but it was from a lawyer representing one of her fellow campaigners.

Nigel Farage, who helped lead the campaign to exit the EU, is not pleased with the decision.

Gina Miller, who brought the case to the High Court, has pleaded with the UK government not to appeal, saying the case was about “process not politics”.

Here’s a clip via Sky News:

You can read much more here on fund manager Gina Miller from our FTfm profile piece from April.

What is Article 50, and how does it work? Here’s the FT’s explainer.

EmoticonThe UK government will appeal the decision, sending it to the Supreme Court in December, a spokesman has told the Press Association.

More from Gina Miller:

“The result today is about all of us. It’s not about me or my team. It’s about our United Kingdom and all our futures. It’s not about how anyone voted. Every one of us voted for the best country and best future. This case was about process not politics. My dedicated team are absolutely delighted to be able to be part of this debate and to bring some sobriety as we go forward.

The judgement I hope when it’s read by the government, and they contemplate the full judgement, it will make the wise decision of not appealing but pressing forward and having a proper debate in our sovereign parliament, our mother of all parliaments that we are so admired for around the world.”

The FT’s Brussels bureau chief Alex Barker has three questions after the ruling:

Nicky Morgan, a former education minister who was a leading Remain campaigner and urged the government to have a vote before triggering Article 50, said MPs “will be mindful of how their constituents voted” when parliament votes on the issue, as demanded by the court.

The Liberal Democrats are pleased with today’s result.

Liam Fox, the secretary of state for international trade, delivered a short government statement in response to the court judgement.

He told parliament:

“The government is disappointed by the court’s judgement. The country voted to leave the European Union in a referendum approved by act of parliament. The government is determined to respect the result of the referendum. This judgement raised important and complex matters of law and it’s right that we consider it carefully before deciding how to proceed.”

Sterling has been on a tear in the past half an hour, having its best day since September. Chart courtesy of Bloomberg.

More from Nigel Farage, speaking to the BBC:

“We are heading for a half Brexit…. I’m becoming increasingly worried. I see MPs from all parties saying, oh well, actually we should stay part of the single market, we should continue with our daily financial contributions. I think we could be at the beginning, with this ruling, of a process where there is deliberate, wilful attempt by our political class to betray 17.4 million voters.”

We have a response from the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn:

“This ruling underlines the need for the Government to bring its negotiating terms to parliament without delay. Labour respects the decision of the British people to leave the European Union. But there must be transparency and accountability to parliament on the terms of Brexit.

“Labour will be pressing the case for a Brexit that works for Britain, putting jobs, living standards and the economy first.”

The pound is up 1.2 per cent.
The FTSE 100 has slipped 0.4 per cent
The domestically-focused FTSE 250 is up 1.5 per cent

For a fuller roundup of market reaction to the verdict, open up fastFT on another tab.

UKIP leadership candidate Suzanne Evans tweeted her disapproval of the court’s decision:

“How dare these activist judges attempt to overturn our will? It’s a power grab & undermines democracy. Time we had the right to sack them.”

Richard Ekins, head of the judicial power project at thinktank Policy Exchange, said the High Court had made a “bad mistake” in its “dubious decision”:

“It has wrongly lent its authority to a claim that undermines both democratic self-government and the rule of law.”

“The basic point of this litigation has not been to defend parliamentary democracy. Rather, the aim has been to introduce a new stumbling block to Brexit by providing sympathetic MPs and peers with an opportunity to frustrate the referendum result.”

Guy Lougher, head of the Brexit Advisory Team at Pinsent Masons, says the verdict throws up a range of big questions for the UK’s political system.

If the Government decides to contest the judgment, the appeal will inevitably be heard by the Supreme Court as a matter of urgency, potentially in December. If Parliamentary approval is required before Article 50 can formally be triggered, it is unclear what the outcome will be.

Even if the House of Commons votes in favour of invoking Article 50, it is far from clear that the House of Lords would do so. In such a scenario a major constitutional debate will be triggered, given that the referendum result was clearly in favour of Brexit, which may well lead to an early General Election.”

A neat summary of the situation from human rights lawyer Schona Jolly, via Twitter:

Will the government now have to delay triggering Article 50? No, says Nicky Morgan.

Away from the High Court, its just thirty five minutes until the Bank of England announces its latest decision on interest rates and publishes the inflation report, expected to update the forecasts on both growth and inflation.

You can read the preview from our economics editor Chris Giles and economics correspondent Gemma Tetlow here.

Eurasia Group gives its verdict on the High Court decision:

Today’s ruling should not be over interpreted. On Friday, the High Court in Northern Ireland ruled differently, namely, that the government had the right to trigger Article 50 under the Royal Prerogative, and did not need a vote in Parliament.

In the first instance, this shows that different courts, under different judges, using different arguments can produce a different result.

Second, even if today’s result had gone the government’s way, it would still have ended up in the Supreme Court on appeal at the request of the anti-Brexit claimants (Friday’s verdict will too for the opposite reasons). As such, the legal picture is mixed and today’s verdict is certainly not the end of the process.

Market sentiment is that High Court ruling would delay rather than block Brexit

Roger Blitz, the FT’s currency correspondent, says that although sterling has jumped to a 3 week high after the High Court rulling on Article 50, the feeling in the markets is that should MPs get a vote they would still approve the triggering of the so-called divorce clause:

Sterling jumped to $1.2448, pushing its intra-day rise at one point to 1.2 per cent. In a volatile London session, investors wrestled with the implications of the defeat, which some analysts suggested would force the government to only delay its plans rather than significantly alter them.

Political and market analysts expect MPs to approve Article 50 — the official trigger for the two-year negotiations on Britain’s EU exit — although the House of Lords could prove a stumbling block and affect the government’s timing.

Read the full piece here

GMB, the trade union, appears content with the High Court verdict. This from Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary.

“The referendum vote has to be respected and acted on, but there are a vast number of different roads ahead to get to Brexit. It’s crucial that Parliament and the country as a whole discusses the options, assess the risks and be aware of the implications for jobs, rights, and the cost of living.”

“Voters did not give the Government a blank cheque. The manner of Brexit has to be made in the national interest and it can’t just be left to the internal factions of the Tory Party. GMB will be pushing for a seat at the negotiating table to represent the views of members and to ensure they are protected from the threats and challenges lying ahead.”

What did the Bank of England do last month?

In August the Bank’s monetary policy commiteee announced a four-part package to help offset any negative shock from the Brexit vote:

Interest rates reduced from 0.5 per cent to a new historic low of 0.25 per cent

A new Term Funding Scheme to provide cheap credit to banks to help ensure the rate cut was passed on to borrowers

£10bn in corporate bond purchases

£60bn of additional gilt purchases, taking the total stock of QE assets to £435bn by January 2017

What were the Bank forecasting in August?

The Bank of England revised down their expectations for growth in August.

They revised up their inflation forecast.

This time they are expected to increase their forecast for both inflation and growth.

A further fall in the value of the pound since the referendum is expected to lead to higher prices while economic output data, such as this morning’s services PMI, has turned out better than anticipated.

The UK government says its timetable for triggering Article 50 by the end of March next year remains in place. This from a spokeswoman for Theresa May, via Reuters:

Our plan remains to invoke Article 50 by the end of March, we believe the legal timetable should allow for that.

What options does Theresa May have after the High Court ruling?

The FT’s George Parker and Kate Allen have analysed the options facing Theresa May following the High Court decision

Read the full story here

Is it time for Remainers to pop champagne corks? No, says the FT’s Sebastian Payne.

Remain supporters should not get too excited — MPs are well aware of the potency of this betrayal narrative. It is a particular problem for Labour MPs, the majority of whom campaigned to stay in the EU while many of their constituents backed Brexit.

What will be more interesting to is how MPs try to shape the kind of deal the government wishes to pursue — there is more support in the House of Commons for a soft Brexit deal than a hard one.

Read his full piece here.

All the focus so far this morning has been on the Article 50 ruling by the High Court and the one bit of generally positive economic news in the form of the UK Services PMI data is all but forgotten. In just over 5 minutes we will be getting the inflation report from the Bank of England and its rate decision.

What policy action are people expecting from the Bank?

Virtually all commentators now expect the MPC to leave policy unchanged today.

Chris Hare, Investec:

Firmer inflation prospects (driven by recent falls in sterling) and stronger than expected activity data will, we think, discourage the committee from another cut.

Howard Archer, IHS Markit:

Another reason for the MPC to sit tight…(should they need it) is so they can see what Chancellor Philip Hammond comes up with in the Autumn Statement on 23 November.

But, Samuel Tombs of Pantheon Macroeconomics adds:

Markets usually are surprised on Super Thursday by the MPC’s dovish tone, and this time won’t be different.

Emoticon Bank of England holds rates

Emoticon Bank of England maintains rate of asset purchases

Unanimous decision to leave policy unchanged

The committee voted unanimously to leave rates unchanged at 0.25 per cent and to target a total stock £435bn of government bond purchases and £10bn of corporate bonds.

Here is the top line from the the Bank of England MPC statement:

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) sets monetary policy to meet the 2% inflation target, and in a way that helps to sustain growth and employment. At its meeting ending on 2 November 2016 the Committee voted unanimously to maintain Bank Rate at 0.25%. The Committee voted unanimously to continue with the programme of sterling non-financial investment-grade corporate bond purchases totalling up to £10 billion, financed by the issuance of central bank reserves. The Committee also voted unanimously to continue with the programme of £60 billion of UK government bond purchases to take the total stock of these purchases to £435 billion, financed by the issuance of central bank reserves.

The full statement is here.

The Bank has revised its growth forecasts up in the near term but down in the longer term.

Output growth is expected to be stronger in the near term but weaker than previously anticipated in the latter part of the forecast period. In part that reflects the impact of lower real income growth on household spending. It also reflects uncertainty over future trading arrangements, and the risk that UK-based firms’ access to EU markets could be materially reduced, which could restrain business activity and supply growth over a protracted period.

Another leg up for sterling

Sterling has renewed its rally and hit $1.2475, up 1.45 per cent on the day

BoE forecasts biggest inflation overshoot since 1997

The Bank of England said on Thursday there were limits to its tolerance of higher prices as it forecast the biggest sustained overshoot of inflation since the central bank gained independence to set interest rates in 1997.

The pound’s fall will raise import prices sharply, the BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee said, as it forecast inflation to exceed its 2 per cent target by next spring, peak at 2.8 per cent in early 2018 and stay above 2.5 per cent well into 2019 before returning to target only in 2020, report Chris Giles and Gemma Tetlow.

You can read the entirety of their story here

Currency correspondent Roger Blitz reports that the foreign exchange markets have welcomed the Bank’s comments.

Another boost for the pound – sterling is now 1.5 per cent higher today to $1.2484, a four-week high. This is the fifth consecutive day it has risen, meaning it is 2.6 per cent higher this week.

The Bank of England has increased its forecasts for economic growth in 2016 and 2017 but lowered it slightly for 2018. The inflation forecast has been revised upward for all three years.

The table below shows the new forecasts next to the old forecasts in brackets.

The Bank of England’s forecast that inflation will hit a peak of 2.8 per cent in early 2018 is well below the prediction earlier this week by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research that it would hit 4 per cent in the second half of 2017.

The full inflation report is available here

Sell off in gilts

Elaine Moore, the FT’s capital markets correspondent, reports:

After a brief rally driven by the Brexit court ruling, British government bond markets are selling off. The prospect of high return-sapping inflation is pushing prices for benchmark 10-year gilts down, sending the yield up 8 basis points on the day to 1.26 per cent.

Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, is due to start his press conference in just over 5 minutes at 12:30 GMT. You can watch proceedings live here. We will of course be summarising the Q&A which follows his opening comments from the statement that went up at midday.

Mehreen Khan on FastFT reports that market expectations of an interest rate rise from the Bank of England next year have edged up in the wake of the central bank’s largest projected inflation overshoot since it gained independence in 1997.

The implied probability of a rate rise in March 2017 has hit 15 per cent today from 10 per cent in light of the BoE’s latest quarterly inflation report and stands at 24 per cent for November next year.

Read her full story here

Carney is speaking now.

Mark Carney asks what it was the Bank got wrong about its August forecast. He says that household confidence and consumption has remained high, with the effect of Brexit uncertainty on households “notable for its absence. “

“The final difference is that business investment appears to be somewhat less soft than expected,” he said.

Carney says that the disagreement between optimistic households and pessimistic financial markets will be resolved through “imported inflation” which will begin to erode real incomes.

This will eventually combine with uncertainty to reduce investment, lower the capital stock and decrease productivity, he says.

He added that growth would be weaker in the medium term compared to August forecasts.

The Bank is willing to tolerate a period of above-target inflation, Carney says, but “there are limits”.

These limits will depend on the “second-round” effects on inflation expectations and the degree to which economic activity falls below its potential, the governor says.

It is now the Q&A period of the conference.

Just before going to questions, Carney sought to reassure by saying:

The UK is a highly flexible dynamic economy this characteristic will allow it to move to a new equilibrium as its relations whit the European Union becomes clearer

But he noted that monetary policy alone can not help the economy find that new equilibrium

“For how long do you think the British public should tolerate these price rises before you act?” Carney is asked.

The reason inflation is above target is because of the exchange rate, he answers. The reason why the rate has moved is due to judgments made in the financial markets about the real economy and not the stance of monetary policy. We can’t influence those perceptions in markets. We can’t influence those real facts, but we need to take account of those factors impact on inflation.

Tolerating inflation means less joblessness, Carney says.

Mr Carney was asked to react to the Article 50 judgment earlier, in reply he said he was “not qualified to comment” on the judgment itself but that it was an “example of the uncertainty that will characterise this process [of Brexit]“.

He said this uncertainty would “bear down on business investment” but the bigger “adjustment is for households” with the MPC predicting only a “modest growth in real incomes.”

The FT’s Chris Giles asks about the downgrade for economic growth in 2018, he asks if it is presumptuous to make a call about how hard the Brexit is?

We have not changed our assumption, Carney replies. The way we run our forecasts that assumption is relevant off stage. We have basically taken a weighted average of potential outcomes.

So why is supply basically in the same place? He asks himself. The overall level of activity aims up at roughly the same level. Stronger in the short term so weaker in the long term. The overall level of supply is consistent with that, we have a larger output gap at the end of the forecast.

We haven’t changed our assumption about what type of Brexit we are going to have at all. It is far too soon to make that judgment.

We have been out talking to businesses, particularly those with large exposures to the EU, so we’re more informed about the relative pace of adjustment.

The last point I’ll make. Financial markets have made a much bigger revision to their views about the kind of Brexit this economy will have. We’ve made a modest adjustment on the transition. Those are judgments of financial markets, they are not based on actual facts.

Gilt yields have risen significantly since the August package and corporate bond yields have also shot up, Carney is asked. Has your stimulus failed?

We retain many options. If it were appropriate to provide additional stimulus we could cut bank rate further or do more asset purchases. We can provide that stimulus.

The stimulus we provided in August has worked, even with the recent moves in the capital markets.

The reason for the shift in gilt yields is due to changes in inflation compensation. Returning to historic averages, it is something we are monitoring closely. The second reason is improved near term growth prospects.

Overall the balance is appropriate.

Mr Carney has just dodged a question about his future given the recent speculation and his commitment to remaining in place for an extra year until 2019.

Previously, he was asked if the MPC had run out of monetary policy options and was sending a message to the chancellor that he would have to resort to fiscal policy to manage the economy going forward.

The governor’s reply said the key issue was what happens to supply and demand and exchange rates, adding: “We will learn about that as we go” and said the neutral stance of the MPC at present was appropriate.

Do you feel that big changes to forecast.. do they reasonably undermine the credibility of the Bank of England? Are people getting a little bit over enervated by changes like that?

There was a big change and there will be big changes as a consequence of the decisions of the British people and it has short term implications over the next three years.

That makes no judgement over the long term benefits of resetting the relationship with Europe. In August we did take a big decision.. broad brush we think that is right.

We end up in the same place in three years time, after a substantial stimulus from the Bank of England and stimulus from a sharp fall in the currency.

Near term growth has been higher, Carney says, “long may it last”.

It is absolutely right we are challenged on what we got wrong and what we got right but the key question is “why?” he says. And what we’ve learnt is consumers are adaptive, they see a strong labour market and cheap credit. Financial markets have pulled the impact forward. Businesses are somewhere in between.

We were just hearing a question about the personal attacks on Carney by various MPs, including William Hague, and whether it undermined the independence of the Bank of England and then the stream from the press conference broke so sorry to say we missed the answer.

How far and how fast would the pound have to fall to make you worried? And would you rule out currency intervention?

We do not target the exchange rate, we target inflation. The exchange rate is an important relative price and has an impact on inflation but we care about why it moves.

What’s your message to people who are just about making ends meet right now?

Carney highlights the nature of the tradeoff he faces between inflation and unemployment. Unemployment is not going to increase as fast as it has in previous “challenging periods” . His job is to deliver “stimulus to make sure more people are in work and wage growth is as strong as it could be”, he said.

Asked if the MPC has lowered its expectations of the impact of uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote on the economy, Mr Carney replies:

What we have seen with consumers is that there hasn’t been a big uncertainty effect . . . what we are assuming is that it doesn’t reassert itself.

But he adds that in terms of business “yes it has been there” and says “up to half of UK companies are taking into account the uncertainty about the relationship with Europe Union.”

Carney is asked again about whether he could possibly stay after 2019. Carney once again replies “I think we’ve had enough of that saga.”

How do you make policy in such uncertain circumstances. Are the politics of Brexit too difficult for the Bank to manoeuvre?

People have voted to leave and that is the position of the government. There will be uncertainty throughout that process… then we come in. We take into account uncertainty and how it is likely to effect businesses and consumers.

Even in the run up to Jun 23 we learnt a little bit about how people reacted.
Some of the refinements in this projection reflect this. We don’t have the luxury of stepping back and ignoring these effects.

He adds that they made a decision to let the contingent guidance retire. But the guidance worked and the economy grew better than forecast.

Do you feel under pressure after Theresa May’s comments about “bad side effects”?

No. The government supports us and supports the framework, Carney says.

Asked about whether there was an assumed direction for interest rates, Mr Carney replies he could envision a scenario where that decision “could go either way.”

The FT’s Gemma Tetlow asks whether the Bank is essentially assuming consumers are short-sighted and stupid given the Bank has not changed their long term estimate for the impact of Brexit.

They are consuming out of income, this isn’t debt-fueled consumption. This is rational behaviour, Carney says.

But there is a difference of views between the foreign exchange market and consumers about the underlying demand in the economy, which is causing inflation to rise above target.

Mr Carney was asked if the fact the Bank got its forecasts wrong three months ago would undermine its credibility in the eyes of consumers who look to it to make mortgage decisions. He replies by pointing out that “in terms of the horizon needed for a mortgage decision we see the economy ending up in the same place” and goes on to point out that borrowing costs are now “cheaper” so he concludes: “I think that enhances credibility.”

The press conference has now finished. For those that want a quick run through of the BoE’s statement and inflation report, our colleague Katie Martin on FastFT has put together a useful summary, which you can read here.

Sterling is off its highs but is still at its highest level against the US dollar since the 7 October flash crash at $1.2450

FastFT has a summary of what economists and investors are saying in response to today’s Bank of England decisions here

Going back to the earlier decision in the High Court, which saw the government lose its case for triggering Article 50 without the need for a vote in parliament (which it is appealing), we have this reaction from Brussels, via our bureau chief there Alex Barker, who reports:

While absorbed by the drama of the court decision, EU diplomats were unsure of its implications for the Brexit negotiation or timetable. Two officials working on Brexit noted the potential for protracted uncertainty over the divorce. “This will divert the energies of the government,” said one senior European diplomat. “And that means they may need more time.”

A European Commission spokesman declined to comment on the court case. But at the request of London Jean-Claude Juncker, the Commission president, will speak to Theresa May on Friday morning.

France in particular is pressing London to move swiftly ahead with the process to trigger Article 50 so the EU side has time to offer a response before Paris is caught-up with its presidential election in May.

However so far British ministers have indicated to other EU capitals that they will likely be making use of the full time available until April, Mrs May’s deadline for starting the formal EU divorce process.

Given Mrs May’s appeal against the Article 50 ruling will not be heard until early December, it is unlikely she will be able to offer EU leaders more clarity on precise timing when they meet for an their end of year summit in Brussels.

Capital markets correspondent Elaine Moore reports:

The pound is just shy of $1.25 – reaching a four week high – thanks to the combination of the Brexit court ruling and the Bank of England economic forecast. Yields on 10-year gilts have fallen back slightly and are now 6 basis points up on the day at 1.24 per cent as Mark Carney avoided saying anything that might come as a surprise to markets during his press conference.

Thanks for joining us for today’s live coverage, we’re now going to wrap the live blog up.

But before we go here’s a summary of an eventful day:

- Services PMI beats expectations with the fastest growth since January. On the plus side the October survey came in with a reading of 54.5 beating analysts expectations of 52.6 however it also found a big increase in input prices.

-The High Court rules that parliament must be given a vote on Article 50 leading to speculation the process of leaving the EU could be delayed. The government have said they will appeal the decision.

-The Bank of England leave rates unchanged but say that future policy could move in either direction. The decision to hold rates at 0.25 per cent was unanimous.

-Sterling rises to its highest level since the flash crash on October 7 on the back of the court case and a slightly more hawkish tone from the Bank of England.

-The bank say it expects faster growth in the next few years but higher inflation however it predicts the economy will slow down more sharply in 2018.

-Carney dodges questions over his future and says the bank has the full support of the government.

-Carney underlines that he faces a tradeoff between inflation and unemployment. He said the Bank is currently facing “exceptional circumstances”.