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BoE forecasts revised downwards: not enough to rule out an initial rate hike this year.

Sterling has appreciated sharply against the dollar in the past month, rebounding from GBP/USD 1.45 to 1.58. Most of the recovery is due to the widespread correction of the dollar, penalised by weak US data, which has pushed back the expected timing of the initial Fed interest rate increase. The euro has also benefited, rising in the same period from EUR/USD 1.05 to 1.12, and in doing so has prevented sterling from strengthening against the single currency.

In part, albeit to a lesser degree, the pound also found support in the outcome of the election of 7 May, which unexpectedly led to the swift formation of a (Tory) majority government, as opposed to expectations for a hung parliament, fuelled by polls that showed the Conservatives and Labour neck and neck just before the vote. 

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