Interest rates predictions: When will the UK bank rate rise again?
When will the MPC make the first move? Interest rate futures on money markets give an indication of shifting sentiment. They moved dramatically in 2011. At the extremes, they pointed to an immediate rise in spring, but by the end of the year indicated 2015 for the first increase. January had started in a similar vein. Markets initially pointed to February 2016 at one point and were then broadly static at mid-2015. But that has moved back to October 2014 today (9 February). The reason for the shift was better than expected news on the UK economy last week. The change in five-year swap rates - the lending of money between banks - gives a good feel for these swings in sentiment (but doesn't indicate where rates will be in five years). The five-year swap was at 3% a year ago but had fallen to 1.60% by the start of 2012. It then dropped to 1.48% before the recent bounce back to 1.60% (see more on swaps below). If that latest swing holds, banks will probably launch marginally better five-year fixed rate savings bonds in the next few weeks. But it also puts pressure on lenders to withdraw the best five-year mortgages. But these forecasts are wildly volatile - as we've constantly warned - and should be treated with extreme caution.