Falling unemployment and recovering productivity point to rising wage pressure that should put the Bank of
But in a balanced assessment of the economy given in a speech in
City speculation about the timing of an interest-rate increase has intensified since the Bank's governor,
Weale said in his speech: "One factor is that people who have been recently unemployed are less productive than average. If this is the case, then as the economy continues to grow, unemployment could fall more quickly than the MPC expects. That on its own certainly points to a need for a policy profile tighter than in our May forecast."
On the other, there is the question of what lesson should be drawn from a continuing and unusual weakness in wages, which may indicate there is more spare capacity in the economy than the MPC has assumed. He added: "Should wage growth fail to revive, that will, on its own, tip the scales further in favour of maintaining a strong monetary stimulus."
Weale said monetary policy will still be providing support for the economy even after the Bank raises official interest rates from 0.5% – where they have been for more than five years.
"Even if there is more spare capacity than the employment and labour force data suggest, a slightly less stimulatory monetary policy will still be making a very substantial contribution to ensuring that that spare capacity is absorbed. Moreover, other things being equal, the policy of raising
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