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Economy

Morgan Stanley, Deutsche and others raise UK rate-hike forecasts

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FILE PHOTO: The logo of Deutsche Bank is pictured on a company’s office in London, Britain July 8, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

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LONDON (Reuters) – A number of banks including Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) and Deutsche Bank (ETR:DBKGn) on Wednesday revised upward expectations for further UK interest rate hikes as a second straight day of data suggested price pressures remain elevated.

Britain was the only country in western Europe with double-digit inflation in March after it fell less than expected, official data showed on Wednesday.

Morgan Stanley analysts said they now expect a 25 basis point (bps) rate hike from the Bank of England in May, and see “clear risks of a June move too”.

Previously, the bank had anticipated no change in UK rates next month.

“With sequential pressures in inflation this strong, it is hard to see how the tightening cycle can be stopped. Hence, we now expect a 25bp hike from the BoE in May,” Morgan Stanley UK economist Bruna Skarica said.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), BNP Paribas (OTC:BNPQY) and RBC Capital Markets said they too now expected a 25-bps rate hike from the BoE in May compared to a previous call for no change.

Deutsche Bank said it also expects two more rate hikes from the BoE, taking the terminal rate to 4.75% in June.

Bank of America said it forecast the terminal rate at 4.5%.

Data showing Britain’s inflation at an annual rate of 10.1% in March, well above the 9.8% forecasts by economists, followed data on Tuesday showing British wages rose fasted than anticipated last month.

“Importantly, we now see risks to our terminal rate forecast skewed to the upside,” said Deutsche Bank senior economist Sanjay Raja.

Investors now fully price in a quarter-point interest rate rise to 4.25% on May 11 after the BoE’s next meeting – up from an 80% chance on Tuesday – and expect rates to peak at 5% by September, according to futures markets.

The Bank of England started hiking interest rates in late 2021 and was one of the first major economies to kick off the tightening cycle.

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