I have been in semniar mode most of the day today. I have heard five presentations from some of the more currently successful fund managers. All of them were suggesting interest rates would rise this year. Prior to the horrendous Japanese disaster – six days of hell and counting.. the general sentiment was that they expected UK interest rates to rise in May. They were all of the view that this would probably now be delayed a little, perhaps until July. In terms of the size of rate rises, the only one willing to put a number on things suggested a rise of 0.75% this year (in all by the end of 2011) and a further 0.5% in 2012. If he is right, this would see the Bank of England base rate rise from 0.5% to 1.25% and then reach 1.75% by the end of 2012. Still incredibly low. Of course the consensus may be wrong and we shall have to see what happens at the next MPC meeting.
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