Highlights - Bank of England hikes rates for first time in a decade

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11/02/2017 | 02:48 pm
LONDON (Reuters) - The Bank of England raised interest rates for the first time in more than 10 years on Thursday and said it expected only "very gradual" further increases over the next three years.

Below are comments from Mark Carney and other members of the Monetary Policy Committee:

CARNEY ON FUTURE RISES:

"Our forecast is conditioned on a market curve which has two additional rate increases over the forecast horizon, and we in fact need those two additional rate increases in order to get that return of inflation to target.

"In fact if you look closely at the forecast, inflation approaches the target, it doesn't quite get there, and the economy is likely to be in a position of excess demand."

CARNEY ON THE HIKE:

"The MPC's primary objective is price stability defined by the government as a 2 percent CPI inflation target. CPI inflation was 3 percent in September and is expected to have risen a little further in October.

"But it isn't so much where inflation is now but where it is going that concerns us. The MPC must set policy to achieve a sustainable return of inflation to target, that is we must aim to bring inflation back to target and to keep it there once the effects of temporary factors, currently predominantly those caused by the referendum-related fall in sterling, dissipate."

CARNEY ON GROWTH:

"The rate of growth is slower than historic norms, but it's not subdued.

"The question about the speed limit of this economy going forward will be increasingly determined by the rate of productivity growth, which, as you know, has been very slow since the crisis, and is expected to be so going forward, even though we have some pick-up.

"What we're doing is easing our foot off the accelerator. This is a modest adjustment in interest rates. It will have an impact on borrowers, over time."

CARNEY ON INFLATION:

"With inflation high, slack disappearing and the economy growing at rates above its speed limit, inflation is unlikely to return to the 2 percent target without some increase in interest rates."

CARNEY ON THE RATE BEING PASSED ON:

"We do expect it to be passed on. Banks did pass on the cuts to their depositors, and we expect competition to push it in the other direction. And obviously we will watch it closely."

CARNEY ON BREXIT:

"(The) Brexit-related constraints on investment and labour supply appear to be reinforcing the marked slowdown that has been evident in recent years in the rate at which the economy can grow without generating inflationary pressures."

CARNEY ON UNCERTAINTY:

"While the sheer novelty of the first increase in Bank Rate in a decade creates some uncertainty around its impact, there are reasons to expect it to be no larger than usual."

BEN BROADBENT ON INCOME SQUEEZE:

"The worst part of that (income) squeeze was actually in the early part of this year and right now, if you look at what is happening right now, household incomes in real terms are roughly flat, maybe even edging up slightly, so we think we're past the worst already."

(Reporting by Kate Holton, Costas Pitas and Alistair Smout)

Reuters 2017
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