The Bank of England appeared in no rush to start raising interest rates on Thursday, with minutes showing just one top policymaker voted to do so this week while the bank forecasts only a slow pick-up in inflation, which sits at zero.
Sterling fell to its lowest in nearly two weeks against the dollar, while British government bonds rallied.
BoE Governor Mark Carney reiterated that the time for an interest rate hike is drawing closer.
“However, the exact timing of the first move cannot be predicted in advance; it will be the product of economic developments and prospects. In short, it will be data dependent,” Carney said in a news conference.
Three weeks ago, Carney said the decision when to hike interest rates would likely come into “sharper relief” around the end of the year. He emphasized on Thursday that this was his own view and that it had not changed since.
Most economists taking part in a Reuters poll had expected two or even three members of the Monetary Policy Committee to vote for a rate hike. Markets pushed out their bets on when the BoE would start to raise rates to June next year from May.
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