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February's consumer price figures, released yesterday, put more pressure on the MPC to stick to its plans for an "ongoing" tightening of monetary policy, despite the uncertainty created by the Brexit chaos.
The market-implied probability that the MPC will cut Bank Rate by June fell to 34%, from 38%, after the release of January's consumer price figures, though investors still see around an 80% chance of a cut by the end of this year.
CPI inflation held steady at 1.5% in November, marking the fourth consecutive below-target print, though it was a tenth above both the MPC's forecast and the consensus.
CPI inflation rose only to 2.1% in April, from 1.9% in March, undershooting the 2.2% consensus and MPC forecasts, as well as our own 2.3% estimate.
The contribution of energy prices to CPI inflation is set to increase over the coming months, following the pick-up in Brent oil prices to $74 per barrel, from $65 at the beginning of March.
The $10 increase in the price of Brent crude oil over the last three months to $68 is an unhelpful, but manageable, drag on the U.K. economy's growth prospects this year.
The rise in oil prices to a four-year high of $82 will slow the pace at which inflation falls back over the next year only modestly.
New BoE Governor Andrew Bailey will be reaching for his letter-writing pen soon, to explain to the Chancellor why CPI inflation is more than one percentage point below the 2% target.
October's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, likely will show that CPI inflation has continued to drift further below the 2% target
We expect May's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, to show that CPI inflation fell to 2.0% in May, from 2.1% in April.
The fall in CPI inflation to just 1.5% in October-- its lowest rate since November 2016--from 1.7% in September, isn't a game-changer for the monetary policy outlook.
May's consumer prices figures bolster the case for the MPC to sit tight and wait until next year to raise interest rates, when the economy should have more momentum.
We expect July's consumer prices report, due on Wednesday, to reveal that CPI inflation dropped to 1.8% in July, from 2.0% in June.
The headline rate of CPI inflation held steady at the 2% target in June, in line with the consensus and the MPC's Inflation Report forecast.
We expect September's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, to show that CPI inflation held steady at 1.7%, below the 1.8% consensus.
The case for the MPC to hold back from implementing more stimulus was bolstered by September's consumer prices figures.
CPI inflation surprises look set to trigger larger- than-usual market reactions over the coming months, given that the MPC emphasised last month that it wants to see domestically-generated inflation rebound swiftly, after falling suddenly late last year, in order to justify keeping Bank Rate on hold.
Brexit talks will dominate the headlines this week, with the focal point set to be a meeting of the European Council on Wednesday, where E.U. leaders might give the green light for an extraordinary summit next month to formalise the Withdrawal Agreement.
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