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BoE’s Haskel says rate cuts should be ‘a long way off’, FT reports

(Reuters) -Bank of England (BoE) interest-rate setter Jonathan Haskel said that rate cuts should be “a long way off,” the Financial Times reported on Thursday, a week after the policymaker ditched earlier calls for higher rates and voted to hold rates.

“Although the fall in headline inflation is very good news, it is not informative about what we really care about: what we really care about is the persistent and the underlying inflation” Haskel told the FT.

“I think cuts are a long way off.”

Governor Andrew Bailey said last week that Britain’s economy was moving towards the point where the Bank of England can start cutting interest rates, after the central bank kept its benchmark rate at 5.25%, its highest level since 2008.

Bailey had said there had been “further encouraging signs that inflation is coming down,” but he also said the BoE needed more certainty that price pressures were fully under control.

Haskel was joined by policymaker Catherine Mann in voting in favour of no change to rates from an earlier assessment to raise rates. Swati Dhingra again cast the lone vote for a cut.

Haskel told the FT that he was trying to find out what the underlying, persistent measures in inflation are.

“I just don’t think the headline figures give a good guide to the persistence.”

(Reporting by Harshita Meenaktshi in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)


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