The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has voted unanimously to maintain interest rates at 0.1%. The move, a result of the central bank’s meeting on Wednesday 5 May, was accompanied by the prediction of much stronger recovery than previously thought.
In a statement, the Bank of England said: “Global GDP growth is likely to have slowed in Q1 2021 as Covid-related restrictions weighed on economic activity, although growth appears to have been stronger than expected in the February Report. Covid vaccination programmes have progressed and picked up pace in many countries. Recently, however, new Covid cases have increased significantly in India and some other economies, leading to tighter restrictions.”
A few days later, on Monday 10 May, the pound was an outperformer on global foreign exchange markets as investors welcomed an easing of UK political risks. The focus of the weekend was the outcome of the Scottish election, which saw the SNP win the vote but ultimately fail to win an outright majority.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon says her party will seek and independence referendum on the basis of an overall pro-independence government it expects to form with the Green Party.