The Times newspaper reported Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce a rise in the minimum wage to about 9.42 pounds ($12.78) per hour within weeks, further muddying the outlook. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: A market-based measure of expected inflation in the UK over the next decade topped 4 per cent, bolstering wagers for tighter monetary policy.

The so-called 10-year breakeven rate climbed as much as 10 basis points to 4.08 per cent, the highest since 2008. The move was spurred by a spike in energy costs with UK natural gas prices surging to a record, threatening to fuel higher consumer prices.

In response, money market have almost fully priced a rate hike from the Bank of England as soon as December, in what would be its first increase in over three years.

It comes at a fragile time for the UK economy, which is still recovering from the pandemic and which faces supply shortages related to the fallout from Brexit. Some investors are warning that tighter policy risks jeopardizing the rebound.

“Rate hikes are not going to help with the winter demand for gas,” said Rishi Mishra, an analyst at Futures First. “The last thing you want to do in a situation where people are already losing part of their disposable income to energy is to make them pay higher interest rates.”

Inflation in the UK accelerated to the strongest pace in more than nine years at 3.2 per cent in August, with the BOE leaving the door open to a potential interest-rate hike as soon as November to contain the surge. Officials expect inflation to exceed 4 per cent in the final quarter of 2021.

The move-in inflation markets reverberated across other asset classes. The yield on sterling investment-grade corporate bonds was a whisper away from breaching 2 per cent for the first time since June 2020, according to a Bloomberg index.

Money markets currently see policymakers raising rates by 15 basis points in February, followed by a quarter-of-a-percentage point rise to 0.5 per cent in May. They have almost fully priced in a 15-basis-point hike in December.