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Bank of England policymakers before Feb rate meeting

·2-min read
Bank of England on track for first back-to-back rate rise since 2004

LONDON (Reuters) - The Bank of England will decide next week whether to raise interest rates for the second time in less than two months, as it wrestles with sharply rising inflation, which hit its highest in nearly 30 years in December.

Few BoE policymakers have spoken publicly since the Monetary Policy Committee announced on Dec. 16 that it was raising interest rates to 0.25% from 0.1%.

Following is a summary of MPC members' recent comments ahead of the MPC's next scheduled announcement on Feb. 3:

ANDREW BAILEY, GOVERNOR

Jan. 19: "If you think about the relationship between transitory and these second-round effects that can make it much longer, that again is a source of pressure in this story, which is a concern."

"I don't want to suggest that ... were we to consider it necessary, we don't have to take any action in terms of the Bank of England's action on interest rates."

"We can and will do everything we can do, I can assure you of that."

HUW PILL, CHIEF ECONOMIST

Dec. 17: Asked on CNBC television whether there would be "a lot more rate hikes to come", if inflation remained at its current level, Pill replied: "Well I think that's true."

"Yesterday was the Bank's response to a view that ... underlying, more domestically generated inflation here in the UK, probably centred around cost and wage pressures in a tight and tightening labour market, are going to prove more persistent through time."

CATHERINE MANN, EXTERNAL MPC MEMBER

Jan. 21: "The ingredients appear to be in place for inflation to stay strong for longer, but costs becoming embedded in prices to create a reinforcing dynamic is not inevitable."

"In my view, the objective for monetary policy now should be to lean against this 'strong-for-longer' scenario."

(Writing by David Milliken; Editing by William Schomberg)

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