Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Tuesday he had no set timetable for raising interest rates and avoided giving his trademark steer on what was likely to happen to borrowing costs against a volatile global economic backdrop.
Carney, making his first speech of 2016 as growth hit a quarter-century low in China while wages rise more slowly at home, said he would only commit to keeping the bank focused on its inflation target.
“That means we’ll do the right thing, at the right time, on rates,” he said.
Britain’s economy has grown strongly over the past two years and last summer Carney said a decision on when to start raising interest rates would probably become clear by about now.
But over the past six months the mood at the BoE has become markedly more cautious and plunging oil prices have kept inflation close to zero, way below the Bank’s 2 percent target.
“The year has turned, and, in my view, the decision proved straightforward – now is not yet the time to raise interest rates,” Carney said, referring to his forecast of July.
Investors expect no hike until 2017 while economists think one will happen in the second half of this year.