Money Minute Thursday 19 December: UK interest rates and American jobs

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Later today we get the Bank of England’s final interest rate decision of the year.

It’s hard to see the Bank doing anything so soon after the election. On the one hand, two members voted for a rate cut – from 0.75% to 0.5% – last month. On the other hand, now that we have much more clarity over which Brexit and economic policies the government will follow, the Bank will probably wait to see how the economic data evolves over the next few months.
Meanwhile over in the US we get the latest jobless claims figures. This shows how many people joined the dole queue in America last week. The most recent release showed a spike in jobless claims. This has been blamed on Thanksgiving, which is often disruptive to these figures.
However, if unemployment is going to start to rise, it will show up here first. That’s why markets will be paying close attention, to see if last week really was an anomaly, or a sign of a potential trend change.

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