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Bank of England to raise rates

The Bank of England said yesterday it was likely to raise interest rates sooner and by more than it thought only three months ago.

The BoE’s rate-setters gave themselves time to assess how Britain is coping with the approach of Brexit by voting unanimously to hold Bank Rate at 0.5 percent, as expected.

Governor Mark Carney and his colleagues said they saw a growing need to keep a grip on inflation, echoing other central banks which are moving towards tighter monetary policy a decade after the financial crisis.

British industrial output sank in December at the fastest pace since 2012 due to the shutdown of a major oil pipeline, but growth in manufacturing confirmed the broader picture of solid economic expansion at the end of 2017.

Construction output also showed a surprise surge in December, according to official data published half hour ago.

Britain’s economic growth slowed slightly in 2017 as higher inflation caused by the fall in sterling after the Brexit vote hurt consumers, although some exporters have gained from the weaker pound and the stronger eurozone economy.

Industrial output fell by 1.3 percent month-on-month in December, the biggest drop since September 2012 and compared with a 0.3 percent rise in November, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Economists taking part in a poll had expected to see output fall 0.9 percent on the month.

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