LONDON, April 7 (Reuters) - Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Friday he would keep a close eye on whether British consumer demand weakens in line with the central bank's expectations that it will fade in response to higher inflation.
"The big story in terms of the strength of the UK economy is ... the strength of consumer demand, and there are some signs of (that) coming off slowly. That's what we expect but we'll monitor it and ensure that we chart the right path," he said in response to a question after giving a speech at Thomson Reuters.
Carney stuck close to the central bank's existing line on the economic outlook, noting that the BoE's latest set of forecasts assumed interest rates would rise at some point over the next two to three years.
"Our central forecast has some modest withdrawal of monetary stimulus over the course of the next few years. There is risk to both sides of that," he said. (Reporting by William Schomberg, Costas Pitas and Kate Holton, writing by David Milliken, editing by Andy Bruce)