Bank of England
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Interest rates: 'Too much attention' on unemployment

Interest rates in the UK are unlikely to rise this year, according to most of the 28 top economists polled by the BBC.

Kate Barker, a former Monetary Policy Committee member, told the Today programme's Sarah Montague that "far too much attention has been paid to the 7% [unemployment rate] figure", which the Bank of England said would have to be breached before it considers raising interest rates.

She noted that the real indicator for the Bank on when to raise interest rates is "how far can unemployment fall before there is upward pressure on wage rises".

In this respect, she added, "there's not really been any change in the goalposts", as wage rises are still low.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Friday 3 January 2014.