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Carney: Rates could rise before general election

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Mark Carney said UK interest rates could rise before next May's general election if there are continued sustainable improvements in the economy, according to a report.

The Bank of England governor told the Northern Echo he does not rule out a rate hike before the election next May.

However, Carney (pictured) called for a improvement in the labour market in the North of England as well as the South before such a decision can be made.

“The point is that if a recovery is just based in the South-East it is neither sustainable nor balanced. It has to include the North-East, we are here to make policy for the UK as a whole, ” the Governor said in the interview.

Carney recognised an interest rate hike would be unpopular with mortgage payers, but said a hike in interest rates should be seen as a “welcome sign” the economy is recovering after a difficult period.

He stressed the hike would be gradual, despite the quick pace of the recovery in the UK compared to other European nations.

“We will set policy as appropriate to meet our core responsibility to meet the two per cent inflation target,” the Governor said.

“We have been as explicit as we can about the nature of adjustments to interest rates, but we cannot be specific.”

Carney also called for banks to act more professionally in order to improve their public image.

He said: “Banking needs to be treated more as a profession. We also need to improve infrastructure, both in how markets are organised and the codes of conduct behind markets.”

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