April 5, 2018 / 10:39 AM / 8 months ago

Many Bank of England officials favor more clarity on rates: FT

FILE PHOTO: The Bank of England is seen through the columns of the Royal Exchange in the City of London, Britain, November 2, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Many of the Bank of England’s top policymakers privately favor a more direct approach to signaling how they expect to change interest rates, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

Members of the BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee are debating whether to be more forthcoming about their rate plans, although some worry that more transparency would lead the public to see statements as commitments rather than projections, the FT said.

Other central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, regularly publish detailed forecasts for how rates might change.

A BoE spokesman declined to comment on the report.

Currently the BoE publishes forecasts for growth, inflation and many other economic indicators. It sometimes encourages investors to look at whether it thinks market interest rate expectations will lead to inflation overshoots or undershoots.

MPC member Gertjan Vlieghe said in March that rates would probably need to rise once or twice a year over the next few years, adding to signals from other top BoE officials since November about the likelihood of rate hikes ahead.

BoE Governor Mark Carney introduced a policy of giving clearer steers on the future path for rates when he joined the British central bank in 2013. But several of those signals were knocked off course by unexpected changes in the economy.

Carney said in February that he did not give guidance on a specific path for rates except in exceptional circumstances.

The BoE is expected to raise rates in May for only the second time since the start of the global financial crisis more than a decade ago.

Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Adrian Croft

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