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BoE’s Greene: Investors have missed ‘higher for longer’ message

BoE’s Greene: Investors have missed ‘higher for longer’ message

By Andy Bruce and David Milliken

LONDON (Reuters) -Bank of England rate-setter Megan Greene said on Thursday that global investors had not fully caught on to the prospect that central bank interest rates may have to stay at restrictive levels for some time.

Greene, an external member of the BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee, said there had been structural changes in major economies over recent years that pointed to a need for higher interest rates.

“I think markets globally haven’t really clocked on to this, Greene told Bloomberg Television.

The U.S. economist is among the minority of rate-setters who voted to keep on raising interest rates at the last two meetings, when the majority opted to hold them.

How long interest rates need to stay restrictive in Britain would depend on the data, she said.

“There are reasons to think that the economy may be structurally a little bit different. That suggests we might need to stay restrictive for longer,” Greene said.

British financial markets show a 25 basis-point cut in Bank Rate is almost fully priced in by mid-2024, with two more likely to follow by the end of next year.

Greene said on Thursday that the BoE was not talking about cutting rates.

This week’s inflation and jobs data were “good news” from the central bank’s perspective, she said, citing cooling services inflation and weakening pay growth.

“I would put all of this in the category of good news, but I think there are still reasons to worry about the persistence of inflation in the UK,” Greene said.

Asked on how she might vote at next month’s policy announcement on Dec. 14, Greene said she would want to see the economic data due between now and then.

(Reporting by David Milliken, Writing by Andy Bruce)

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