(Adds Yorkshire Post interview, reference to previous comments)
LONDON, June 20 The Bank of England is under no
immediate pressure to raise interest rates, because wage growth
is slow and inflation subdued, its chief economist said in
newspaper interviews on Friday.
Andy Haldane - who started as chief economist this month
-also reiterated the BoE's message that when rates do rise, the
increases will be gradual and will leave rates below historical
"This is not going to be going up in clips of 50 basis
points. It is going to be ever-so gradual, and even when that
normalisation is through and complete, we are not going back to
where we came previously," Haldane told the Yorkshire Post.
The BoE said over the past week that it might raise rates
earlier than markets had expected, possibly before the end of
this year, but economic slack still needed to be absorbed before
Haldane himself made the case for the BoE erring on the side
of moving earlier rather than later in a speech on Wednesday,
saying the central bank should be on the front foot rather than
wait until the last moment to act.
Britain's economy recovered rapidly over the past year, but
wage and price growth has remained subdued. That has allowed the
Bank to keep stimulating the economy through record-low interest
Recent data only reinforced that tendency, showing British
inflation fell to a 4-1/2 year low last month and pay growth
slowed in April.
"Right now, there aren't signs of strong inflationary
pressures, there aren't signs of strong wage pressures, which is
why we are in no rush and when the rate rises eventually come
they can afford to be gradual," he said.
The comments echoed those in an interview with the
Scarborough News published earlier in the day.
(Reporting by Ana Nicolaci da Costa; Editing by David Milliken,