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Rates will rise 'pretty soon', says bank guru Miles

By Holly Williams

Outgoing Bank of England policy-maker David Miles said interest rates were set to rise "pretty soon" as growth in Britain's economy picks up pace.

Mr Miles, who cast his final vote as a member of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) earlier this month, told BBC Newsnight the time to lift rates from the record low of 0.5% was drawing closer.

Asked when the first rise would be, he said: "I think it's pretty soon, and I don't think it's anything to worry about - it's a sign the economy is returning to a more normal position."

He added: "It's taken a long time to get there, and we're not fully there yet."

His comments provide the latest sign that rates will soon edge higher, coming days after fellow MPC member Kristin Forbes warned of the dangers of "lingering too long in the sun" with low interest rates.

She said that waiting too long for an increase risked undermining the recovery, even though it was tempting to put off any rise.

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