Although the Bank of England’s governor suggested that higher interest rates may be necessary to control inflation, he stated that no decision had been made.
Andrew Bailey stated that the monetary policy committee would await additional data on inflation and labor market before deciding whether to raise rates on March 23.
Bailey spoke to a Brunswick audience.
“Another increase in Bank Rate may be necessary, but it is not decided. We will be informed by the incoming data, which will help us to make policy decisions.
These comments are Bailey’s first public statements after the Bank raised rates by 4% last month. It also dropped its long-standing guidance to financial markets that further monetary tightening was needed.
Investors are increasingly betting on a pause in rate increases after 14 months of increases which have seen rates rise from 0.1% to the highest levels since 2008 to combat inflation.
The rate-setting committee stated that it will make decisions based on forthcoming data regarding the state of wage growth, pricing behavior of companies and whether underlying inflationary forces are still rising.
Due to price increases and the annual measurement of price changes, headline inflation is expected to drop from 10.1% in January to around 4% by the end.
Bailey stated that the economic data on inflation, wages and employment since February were consistent with the forecasts of the committee. He stated that “inflation has been slightly lower and activity and wages slightly higher”
The money markets have raised their expectations of further rate increases this year, and they are pricing 65 basis points more to the base rate in the coming months.