Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said he did not know when British interest rates should start to rise, once again sounding vaguer than before about when the BoE might begin easing the economy off record-low borrowing costs.
“The question in my mind is when is the appropriate time for interest rates to increase, and that is strongly consistent with the strength of the domestic economy,” Carney told members of Britain’s parliament on Tuesday.
The Bank surprised many investors earlier this month when it showed no sign that it was gearing up for an increase in interest rates, saying Britain’s near-zero inflation would pick up only slowly even if rates stay on hold throughout next year.
Carney said then that the Bank would raise rates when the time was right.
Before that, he had said a decision on whether to raise rates would come into sharper focus around the end of this year. But that was before the deepening of the slowdown in the global economy which has kept most BoE rate-setters on the fence.