February 12, 2018 / 11:31 AM / 10 days ago

BoE's Vlieghe: Further rise in UK rates likely to be appropriate

LONDON (Reuters) - Bank of England policymaker Gertjan Vlieghe said on Monday that a further rise in British interest rates was likely to be appropriate if a strong global economy and a labor market pick-up continued to offset Brexit headwinds.

“A further rise in interest rates is likely to be appropriate if all those trends continue and we are on a trajectory. It wasn’t just one hike in November and then we take a very long break,” he said at a panel discussion hosted by the Resolution Foundation, a think tank.

The central banker also said the level of interest rates that the BoE needs to reach before it starts to reverse its quantitative easing program could come under review.

Previously the BoE has said rates would need to reach around 2 percent before it started to sell its 435 billion pounds ($603 billion) of government bonds, in order to give headroom for future rate cuts during a downturn.

Vlieghe said that since then the BoE had found it could cut rates below 0.5 percent. The U.S. Federal Reserve’s ongoing experience selling debt holdings would also influence the BoE’s decision on when to start to sell assets, he said.

Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by William Schomberg

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