LONDON Chancellor George Osborne said on Thursday there will come a point when interest rates rise from record low levels in Britain, and that could be interpreted a sign of economic strength.
While stressing the independence of Bank of England rate-setters, Osborne said he expected Britain to follow the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision in December to raise interest rates from record low levels.
"Of course, there will come a point when that happens in Britain, a decision made by our independent central bank. Rising interest rates can be a sign of a strong economy..." Osborne told BBC radio.
He also said Britain's economic recovery was not fuelled by consumer debt.
"Overall levels of household debt have fallen over the last five years. Look at the jobs numbers, they're not made up ... wages are rising."
(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by Sarah Young)