How close is a Base Rate rise? Miles away...

Ever since Mark Carney’s comments that the first interest rate rise could soon be on the horizon, speculation has been rife as to when exactly it might come.

It’s all guesswork of course, but we can’t help ourselves, and fall on any snippet of information that might give the tiniest of hints.

In that spirit it’s interesting to note that MPC-member David Miles has told Bloomberg that he came close to voting for an interest rate increase in August.

Miles is the longest-service member of the Monetary Policy Committee, and in fact this was his final meeting before stepping down, so perhaps he now feels more free to talk about his thinking.

But it’s notable that in his 6-year tenure on the MPC, Miles has never voted to increase Base Rate, and indeed over late 2012 and early 2013 was in a minority (sometimes of one) calling for more quantitative easing.

So David Miles is hardly a dyed-in-the-wool hawk on interest rates, as compared to Ian McCafferty and Martin Wheale who’ve been keen on a rate rise for some time.

Perhaps his record on QE suggests that Miles has a more interventionist approach than some of his colleagues, but nonetheless this seems a significant shift in his thinking. If one such as he is tempted to vote for a rise, it may be closer than you’d think.

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