The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee voted against raising rates at their monthly meeting in March, but gave its strongest hint yet that it would reach a different decision in May.
The outcome meant that the bank rate will remain at 0.5 percent, but two of the members voted for a rise to 0.75 percent. The MPC minutes maintained that “given the prospect of excess demand over the forecast period, an ongoing tightening of monetary policy over the forecast period would be appropriate”.
Pressure is increasing on Bank of England governor Mark Carney to counteract the effect of rising wages and domestically-generated inflation, as well as weaker-than-anticipated productivity, which are all pushing inflation upwards.
Rates were last hiked in November, up to 0.5 percent from 0.25 percent. The MPC again highlighted May as likely time for another rise.
“The May forecast round would enable the Committee to undertake a fuller assessment of the underlying momentum in the economy, the degree of slack remaining and the extent of domestic inflationary pressures”, the minutes read.