Pressure to raise rates building

OUR PANEL of experts stuck to their guns this month, suggesting that interest rates should stay on hold, but the economists are increasingly saying that a rate hike will be needed in the near future.

Several members who did not vote for immediate rate hikes noted the prolonged period of economic growth, and the pressure in the housing market. However, with low inflation, most think the Bank can sit on its hands for the time being.

Others who are less in favour of rate rises in the near future noted the still-feeble pressure on wages. Real earnings are now stable and growing in some sectors, but only slowly.