BOE's Saunders: Raise Rates Now to Contain Inflation

By Jason DouglasFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

A senior Bank of England official said Thursday that the U.K. central bank should raise interest rates now to restrain inflation.

Michael Saunders, a member of the BOE's rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee, said in a speech in Cardiff, Wales, that uncertainty over the outcome of Brexit talks shouldn't deter policy makers from pursuing their inflation goals.

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"Out foot no longer needs to be quite so firmly on the accelerator, in my view," Mr Saunders said, according to a text of his remarks. He said annual inflation is too high and slack in the labour market is rapidly diminishing.

His view doesn't come as a surprise. Mr Saunders voted in August to nudge up the BOE's main interest rate to 0.5%, from 0.25% currently.

A majority of official on the bank's policy-setting panel were content to keep rates on hold this month though Governor Mark Carney has signaled that borrowing costs may need to rise quicker than markets expect, as weak investment is weighing on the economy's capacity to produce goods and services without fuelling price increases.

-Write to Jason Douglas at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 31, 2017 04:05 ET (08:05 GMT)