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Though the national statistics office downplayed the impact of the cold weather on growth, the Bank of England said the so-called "Beast From the East" cold weather front was a key factor. The publication, originally scheduled for July 26, has been cancelled and moved to August 10, eight days after the Bank publishes its rate decision and updated forecasts.

The decision to keep rates on hold will be welcomed by the 4 million or so households on a "tracker" or variable interest rate mortgage as any rise would increase their monthly repayments, but the 45 million Brits who have savings in the bank will be less happy as the return on their investment will be unchanged.

"Overall, our United Kingdom team noted that given the lower urgency for a rate hike due to the need for "limited tightening" over the forecast horizon, they see an increase in rates contingent on growth bouncing back and negotiations on the Brexit front staying positive, while their call for an August rate hike stands".

Sterling fell on the news and was trading lower by 0.2% against the U.S. dollar at 1.352.

After a slew of poor economic data in recent weeks, the central bank now expects the United Kingdom economy to grow by a paltry 1.4 per cent this year - markedly lower than the 1.8 per cent it had previously pencilled in.

Financial markets had seen a rate hike this month as a near certainty until the recent first quarter data shock and subsequent gloomy reports from different sectors of the economy.

'These projections are conditioned on a gently rising path for the Bank Rate over the next three years'.

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Since he joined the BoE in 2013, Carney has signaled several times that the time was nearing for rates to rise from the historic low of 0.5 percent they reached during the 2008-09 financial crisis, only for economic data to go the wrong way.

- Bank of England inflation report downgrades Q2 2018 growth by 0.4%. While the subdued first quarter outturn signified that the full-year growth estimates was lowered, unchanged forecasts for 2019 and 2010 meant that the central bank's broader views on the economy were left intact, stated Lloyds Bank. In the year to March, annual consumer price inflation was 2.5 percent, well below the bank's projection of nearly 3 percent.

He added that, 'While the storms of February and March have given way to sunnier skies, the economic outlook for the United Kingdom remains clouded by Brexit uncertainties. Since an increase to interest rates tends to slow spending and borrowing and therefore reduce economic growth, the decision was made to hold interest steady for the time being.

But late last month, data started to raise doubts.

'As negotiations progress this year, the medium term outlook will become clearer'.

Minutes to the meeting show the majority of rate-setters preferred to wait to raise rates to "discern whether the softness in the first quarter might persist".


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