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BoE's Saunders says interest rates could rise faster than markets expect

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BoE's Saunders says interest rates could rise faster than markets expect

Bank of England policymaker Michael Saunders said the central bank could raise interest rates faster than market expectations of a little more than one rate hike over the next 12 months, CNBC reported.

Britain's economy is expected to grow at a pace similar to that seen over the last couple of years of 1.5% to 2% if Brexit unfolds smoothly, Saunders, a member of the BoE's monetary policy committee, told the news outlet. He said unemployment is expected to decline further and pay growth should pick up slightly.

"Against that background, I think that yes, rates might need to rise a little faster," Saunders said, but noted that the BoE will still raise rates in a limited and gradual way even if the pace is faster than markets currently expect.

Saunders is one of the hawkish members of the monetary policy committee and voted to raise interest rates at the central bank's June meeting. Three out of nine BoE policymakers voted to raise interest rates at that meeting, fueling expectations that the central bank could raise interest rates in August.