MPC votes 7-2 to hold Bank Rate at 0.5%

39;Any other decision would now be a major surprise to markets’ Chances of a May rate hike falls to just 8

For 2019 and 2020, it predicted growth of 1.7 percent, down from 1.8 percent in its February forecasts.

However while a hike may longer be on the table this month, the Pound may still be able to mount a recovery if the BoE still appears open to the possibility of hiking rates later in the year. The lower 2018 growth prediction reflected the early weakness, Bloomberg said. The 0.1 percent quarterly growth was markedly down on the Bank of England's forecast of around 0.4 percent and was, according to the bank, nearly entirely due to wintry weather - dubbed the "Beast From the East" - in late February and early March. This is good news for borrowers but piles yet more misery on savers.

Movements in the Bank's official rates can have big effects on United Kingdom households.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has defended himself against a charge that his public comments on interest rate moves lack credibility.

"Rate-setters have kicked the interest rate can down the road once more", Tom Stevenson, investment director for Personal Investing at Fidelity International said. House prices are falling, most notably in London, retail sales are soft because the consumer is so stretched, and the services sector is "on pause" because of Brexit, according to Mizuho's Peter Chatwell.

- The Bank's economic forecasts will also be important as GBPUSD stabilizes after its recent sharp falls.

"Unless the economic news worsens significantly or the Brexit negotiations collapse, we are still set for rises over the coming year", Urwin said.

Despite the near-term softness, the MPC's central forecast for economic activity is little changed from that in the previous Report.

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However, EUR exchange rates could come under pressure next week with the release of the first quarter German gross domestic product data.

- Bank of England inflation report downgrades Q2 2018 growth by 0.4%.

CPI inflation fell to 2.5% in March, lower than expected at the time of the February Report.

The latest commentary from the European Central Bank did not provide any real surprises to investors, leaving Euro (EUR) exchange rates without any particular rallying point.

Nevertheless, the GBP/CAD exchange rate could find a rallying point on Friday afternoon if April's raft of Canadian jobs and wage data fails to impress.

Not helped by the earlier timing of Easter, retail sales decreased by 4.2 per cent on a like-for-like basis in April compared to the same month a year ago, the biggest ever decline since the British Retail Consortium and KPMG records began in 1995. He judged the Q1 slowdown as temporary due to erratic factors and signalled that the MPC now waits for when the momentum is going to be re-established.

They repeated their calls for a rise to 0.75 per cent to avoid more "abrupt" policy action further down the line.

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