Yuri Gripas | Reuters
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney leaves after speaking at 2017 Institute of International Finance (IIF) policy summit in Washington, U.S., April 20, 2017.
“If the speed limit has slowed and we’re in a position where we’ve used up a lot of the capacity in this economy … it means that we should be thinking about, and we are open about this, we’re thinking about taking our foot a bit off the accelerator,” he told the BBC radio.
Asked whether that meant a rate hike in November, Carney said: “I think the indication that the MPC has given is about as clear an indication as one can expect.”
“Interest rate increases when and if they come will be to a limited extent and gradual,” Carney said, echoing many previous statements from the Bank. The BoE cut interest rates to a record low of 0.25 percent in August last year, shortly after the Brexit vote, and most economists think that the kind of gradual increases it has talked about are unlikely to put a lot of strain on the economy.
Asked about borrowing levels, Carney said there was no overall debt bubble in Britain but he repeated the BoE’s position that it was worried about “a pocket of risk” in consumer debt that has been growing at about 10 percent a year.
“We think banks have been giving too much credit… and not been as disciplined as they should be in their under-writing standards and their pricing on this debt,” he said. “We’re worried about this shift from what has been responsible lending to reckless lending… It’s early stage… but some of it is getting a little frothy and should be addressed.”