LONDON Jan 24 Bank of England policymaker
Martin Weale said interest rates could remain at their historic
low for some time, despite a steeper-than-expected fall in
unemployment, a newspaper reported on Friday.
Last August, Weale was the only top policymaker at the BoE
to vote against a plan to keep interest rates unchanged until
unemployment fell to 7 percent. Weale said at the time he was
concerned the plan could fuel inflation expectations.
The East Anglian Daily Times quoted Weale as saying a fall
in inflation since then to the BoE's target of 2 percent was
very welcome and something he had not foreseen.
Other BoE policymakers have said this week that there will
be no immediate increase in interest rates, despite unemployment
tumbling unexpectedly to 7.1 percent.
Weale told the newspaper he was against a lowering of the
BoE's threshold for considering an interest rate hike which now
looks set to be breached.
He was quoted as saying that setting a new threshold based
on a lower unemployment rate would not help create certainty
about the BoE's next steps, because it could be quickly
overtaken by events.
On Thursday, BoE Governor Mark Carney said the Bank was
likely to take a broader approach to gauging when the British
economy is strong enough to cope with higher borrowing costs.