The Bank of England would never give “time-specific” guidance on the U.K’s first interest rate hike, Ben Broadbent, Bank of England monetary policy committee member — and rumored leading contender for the deputy governorship — told CNBC.
Broadbent told CNBC that there is “too much focus” on the interest rate hike amid speculation that the central bank could raise rates in the first half of 2015.
“We have never given, would not want to give, and are not giving time-specific guidance about when this happens. I might also say that I think there’s too much focus on this particular date,” Broadbent told CNBC.
Improving economic data in the U.K. since last year has increased expectations the Bank of England will look to raise its main interest rate. This measure is a benchmark for mortgages and savers all over the U.K. and was originally tied to the unemployment rate.
The U.K.’s official statistics office on Wednesday confirmed the country’s gross domestic product rose 0.7 percent in the last three months of 2013 from the previous quarter, while business investment picked up sharply in the same period.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney unveiled the “next phase” of his forward guidance in February after a sharp fall in jobless numbers took the central bank by surprise. In a surprise to some analysts, Carney’s “second phase” of forward guidance did not link a rate hike to any specific indicators.