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Bank under growing pressure to raise interest rates as inflation rises

As a nation we import far more than we export. It's an imbalance that's proved a vulnerability since we voted to leave the European Union. The fall in the value of the pound has made the goods and services we buy in more expensive.

It is the Bank of England's job to keep prices stable and prices are unstable. Inflation is above target and headed in the wrong direction. The price of clothing and footwear has made the headlines but prices across the board have risen over the last year. Pay growth has struggled to keep up.

There is modest but growing pressure for the Bank to respond by raising interest rates.

Until now, the Bank of England has been more concerned about economic growth (which has been unheroic at best) and the prospect of Brexit than it has above-target inflation.

Indeed the Bank believes that inflation will peak in October as the impact of the weak pound falls away; it also expects pay rises to become more generous.

The Bank is betting that this squeeze on living standards will be short-lived. It may be proved wrong, today's headline number was higher than the Bank forecast.

Inflation has risen above average earnings. Credit: ITV News

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee meets tomorrow to decide what to do about interest rates. Ten years after the failure of Northern Rock and the onset of the financial crisis, the Bank Rate remains at unprecedentedly low levels.

Andrew Sentance, a former MPC member, is of the view that the emergency is over and the "return to normal" is long overdue.

"I think we need an interest rate raise to get the economy back into balance, borrowers have been doing very well with very low interest rates but savers have been disadvantaged. A healthy economy needs an better balance," he told ITV News.

City investors don't think we will see an interest rate rise until next summer. By then our future trading relationship with the EU - on which our prosperity depends - should be clearer.

You will recall that, in the run up to the referendum, Remainers told us a vote to Leave the EU would trigger a recession while Brexiteers promised an economic renaissance. Thus far, neither prediction has come to pass.