Bank of England policymaker points to rate rise next spring, but says hikes will be gradual

LONDON – A Bank of England policymaker has suggested that consumers should brace themselves for a rise in interest rates by spring of next year.

Martin Weale, one of the Monetary Policy Committee’s nine members, told Sky News that communication was important and the bank should explain when the key rate might rise from its record low of 0.5 per cent.

He said: “The most likely path for interest rates is that the first rise will come perhaps in the spring of next year, and then the path is likely to be relatively gradual.”

IHS economist Howard Archer says Weale’s comments are unusually specific in terms of timing. They do tie in with what the bank’s governor, Mark Carney, indicated last week, however.