LONDON - Bank of England policymaker Martin Weale, one of the most hawkish members of the Monetary Policy Committee, told BBC Radio Ulster that he did not see a need to raise interest rates in the immediate future.
Weale had said that rates might need to rise later in the year if, as he expected, unemployment fell faster than the central bank was currently predicting. But in the radio interview broadcast on Thursday, Weale stressed that rates did not need to go up quite yet.
"As things stand at the moment, I don't see the case for an increase in interest rates. I would be surprised if that were to change in the very near future," the external member of the MPC said in an interview broadcast on Thursday. "Later in the year will be a different matter, but I will have to see how the economy evolves, what's happening to labour market pressures, what's happening to wages and what the other developments are."
Minutes from the BoE's rates meeting early this month showed that the MPC thought when it met that markets had underestimated the risk of a 2014 rate hike and that new BoE policymakers eyed the case for an early rate rise. But the minutes also showed members had unanimously voted for interest rates to remain unchanged in June and agreed that more economic slack needed to be eroded before they could rise.