June 28, 2017 / 5:02 AM / a year ago

BoE's Cunliffe: See how slowdown plays out before deciding on rate hike

LONDON, June 28 (Reuters) - Bank of England Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe said on Wednesday that he wanted to see how far improvements in business investment and exports could compensate for a consumer slowdown before deciding to raise interest rates.

Cunliffe stressed weak wage growth and said the lesson from the last few years was that Britain’s economy had not generated much domestic inflation pressure, despite a sharp fall in unemployment.

Asked in a BBC radio interview if now was the right time to raise interest rates, Cunliffe said:

“(Consumer spending) is slowing as households’ real incomes are squeezed by higher inflation, we expect some of that slowing to be offset by growth in business investment, growth in exports. And I want to see how that plays out.”

“(We) do have to look at what’s happening to domestic inflation pressure, and I think that on the data we have at the moment, gives us a bit of time to see how this evolves,” Cunliffe said. (Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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