Inflation begins to bite
On Thursday the Bank of England (BOE) rate committee met to discuss interest rates, and, even though inflation is growing, yet again they have decided to leave the base rate at 0.25%. They obviously feel this is the best option as they assess the extent of any consumer slowdown and while they continue to play the waiting game regarding how the EU Brexit divorce negotiations pan out. The BOE seems to be playing a deliberate wait and see game, and with economic news continuing to be negative in the last few weeks, it now seems likely that the base rate could stay at this level until at least 2019.
With inflation rising in recent months, hitting its highest level in more three years at 2.3% in February and remaining flat at 2.3% in March, this means that in real terms, taking into account low wages growth and little to no growth on savings held in banks and building societies, people are worse off month after month than they have been for many years.
We are all aware that interest rates offered to savers have been low to zero in the UK as well as across Europe for years now, but that didn’t matter as much all the while inflation was at zero or negative percent, but this is now a worry as the effect of inflation means that the buying power of the cash people have is steadily decreasing.
Arguably, many savers with decent pots should invest some of their money over and above a rainy day (contingency) fund, and savers are missing out on the potential for better returns by not doing so, however, they are also avoiding the chance of losing money if markets fall. But the savvy savers are realising that nowadays they have to accept some risk if they are going protect their money against growing inflation that will diminish the real value of their savings.
Be smart with your money - if you would like advice on what’s on offer, Blacktower and myself are here to help you.