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Interest rate watch

But pressure is mounting on the MPC to give home owners (at least) an early Christmas present and take action now.

The Guardian reports that one FD, Tesco’s Andrew Higginson, wants the MPC to cut rates soon. Higginson is quoted as saying: “The risk of inflation is limited but the risk of the consumer turning off is higher."

Inflation is a big concern for central bank types. Currencies Direct’s Mark O’Sullivan told us last week that it is the reason the European Central Bank is baulking on slashing rates.

The MPC will announce its final rates decision for 2007 on Thursday. While it’s perhaps unfair to compare the UK situation with other countries, it’s interesting to note that the Canadians have opted to cut while the Australians are expected to hold steady.

I’m not much of a gambler (at Ascot this summer I managed to back the losers in five consecutive races) although if I was to have a flutter on the MPC’s next move, I’d bet on it being a close vote but for rates to be left on hold.

Stand by for a rate cut in January or February.

If you want to know more about the MPC, click here for an interview with committee member Kate Barker

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