Britain needs to start raising interest rates sooner rather than later if it wants to avoid sharp and painful increases in the future, a member of the Bank of England’s rate-setting committee has warned
In an interview with the Financial Times, Martin Weale, an external member of the BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee, said he thought even a “gradual” rise in interest rates could see borrowing costs rise by up to one percentage point a year – faster than markets are expecting.
Mr Weale said his definition of a “gradual” rate rise would involve the bank tightening by “no more than” 25 basis points a quarter, while investors are betting on an increase of about 1.8 percentage points over three years.
The central bank has repeatedly said rate rises will be “gradual and limited” when the economy becomes strong enough to make them necessary. But Mr Weale warned that if the MPC wanted the pace to be gradual it should not wait too long before making a start.