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BoE's Ramsden: UK interest rates to stay high for extended time

Published Nov 16, 2023 16:00 Updated Nov 16, 2023 16:28
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© Reuters. A general view shows the Bank of England in London, Britain, September 21, 2023. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File photo

LONDON (Reuters) -The Bank of England is likely to need to keep interest rates high for an extended period, Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden said on Thursday, sticking close to the central bank's existing language on the topic.

Ramsden voted with the majority on the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) this month to keep interest rates on hold at a 15-year high of 5.25%.

"Monetary policy is likely to need to be restrictive for an extended period of time," Ramsden said in prepared remarks for the European Systemic Risk Board's annual conference.

"The MPC have communicated that monetary policy will need to be sufficiently restrictive for sufficiently long to return inflation to the 2% target sustainably in the medium term," he added.

Financial markets currently price in the BoE starting to cut rates in May or June next year, with three quarter-point rate cuts priced in by the end of 2024.

Ramsden, who is in charge of the BoE's quantitative tightening programme, reiterated that the central bank did not yet know how big its balance sheet would need to be once it had sold a sufficient amount of its stockpile of government bonds.

"We continue to work towards assessing what our future steady state reserves supply looks like, both to meet our monetary policy objectives through quantitative tightening, while ensuring our financial stability objective is also supported," he said.

The BoE last year became the first major central bank to start actively selling down the stockpile of bonds it had bought since the 2008 global financial crisis.

The BoE currently holds 748 billion pounds ($931 billion) of gilts, down from a peak of 875 billion pounds in December 2021, and committed to reduce its stockpile by 100 billion pounds between October 2023 and September 2024.

($1 = 0.8035 pounds)

BoE's Ramsden: UK interest rates to stay high for extended time
 

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