Bank of England interest-rate setter Silvana Tenreyro said on Monday that she expected borrowing costs to rise gradually but the timing of when rates would start to go up was an open question.

Tenreyro, who voted last month to keep rates on hold, said in a speech that the inflationary impact of the fall in sterling after the 2016 Brexit vote was probably fading more quickly than the BoE had expected.

But the sharp fall in unemployment would push up wages.

“With falling imported inflation offset by a gradual pick-up in domestic costs, I judge that conditional on the outlook I have just described, a gradual tightening in monetary policy will be necessary over the next three years,” Tenreyro said.

“While I anticipate that a few rate rises will be needed, the timing of those rate rises is an open question.”

Tenreyro said she expected that much of the weakness seen in Britain’s economy in early 2018 would prove to be erratic but she said it did raise the possibility of some underlying weakness in domestic demand.

Summing up her position at the BoE's policy meeting in May, she said she believed the costs of waiting a short period for more information about the economy were small.

"And because unusually, we are likely to get a significantly clearer picture of the underlying strength of domestic demand quite soon, there were benefits to leaving policy unchanged," Tenreyro said.

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