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Business Comment

Rates are likely to rise – but only when they really have to


Outlook So are interest rates going up or is the Bank of England staying put? Who knows?

The Treasury Select Committee feels the Bank's Governor, Mark Carney, has been giving mixed messages.

But critics have been stomping on the grave of his "forward guidance" policy on rates for a while now. It was a bit of a false conception in the first place, subject as it was to any number of caveats.

What it ultimately amounted to was that the Bank would hold rates unless it really had to raise them. And if did act then it would only do so with great caution.

The mood music has changed a bit since then. The markets are betting on a rise, even if Mr Carney's being cagey with inflation still low and the economy apparently having some spare capacity.

They are probably right. But you can be sure that Mr Carney and his Monetary Policy Committee will only act when they really have to, and with great caution. So now you know.