Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has signaled that Britain's interest rates could start rising early next year.
In a speech delivered Tuesday, Carney said the bank would meet its inflation target if it started lifting borrowing rates gradually in the spring, as investors currently expect.
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He said: "In other words, we would achieve our mandate." The comments are among the clearest indications yet on when the Bank of England is likely to act.
Currently, its nine-member monetary policy committee is split on the issue. Two voted last month for a rate increase, but the rest want to see a stronger rise in wages and jobs. Britain's economy is recovering better than most European countries, but pay increases have been slow.