Andrew Bailey warns interest rates will rise again if companies hike prices


Retail sales rose by more than expected last month boosted by strong sales in discount department stores.

Economists had predicted a 0.2pc rise but this was blown out of the water, with a 1.2pc increase in sales recorded by the Office for National Statistics.

January’s sales increase was also revised up from 0.5pc to 0.9pc.

5 things to start your day 

1) Bank of England raises interest rates to 4.25pc and warns of further pain | Rate rise comes after unexpected jump in inflation

2) TikTok chief admits Chinese parent company has access to data | Admission comes as the app battles a potential ban in the United States

3) The Bank of England made a historic error that must not be forgotten | Andrew Bailey has repeatedly got the big calls wrong – and we are paying the price

4) Interest rate rises wipe almost £550bn off private pension schemes | Losses pose a risk to hundreds of thousands of people with pensions in defined benefit schemes

5) BBC told to explain increased spending on US blockbusters | Ofcom’s intervention comes as the broadcaster buys more imports from across the pond

What happened overnight 

Asian shares were pressured after lingering banking stability concerns gripped Wall Street.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.2pc, although it was heading for a still solid weekly gain of 2pc.

Both China’s blue-chip index and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.3pc, with sentiment weighed by persisting geopolitical tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.

Japan’s shares ended lower Friday as global investors weighed fresh interest rate hikes by central banks and signs of a possible pause in US monetary tightening.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.1pc to 27,385.25, while the broader Topix index slid 0.1pc to 1,955.32.

Wall Street’s main indexes closed in the green after choppy trading on Thursday, as investors piled into megacap tech stocks amid retreating Treasury yields and hints that the Federal Reserve could soon end its rate hiking cycle. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Jones closed 0.2pc higher at 32,105.25, while the broad-based S&P 500 climbed 0.3pc to close at 3,948.72. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite gained 1pc to 11,787.40.

Shares in regional lenders tumbled despite reassurances from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that the US government is prepared to take “additional actions if warranted” to protect deposits and stabilise the banking system. 

The SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF dipped 2.8pc.



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