The BoE's nine rate-setters were unexpectedly unanimous in their vote to raise rates to 0.75% from 0.50%. The market had mostly expected a 7-2 vote in favour of a hike.

The BoE said that while growth had slowed ahead of Britain's departure from the EU in March 2019, the country's economy was operating at almost its "speed limit," or full capacity, raising the prospect of more home-grown inflation pressure ahead.

But the message for borrowing costs remained one of gradual and limited increases as the central bank saw inflation only a fraction above its 2% target over the next few years.

BoE Governor Mark Carney, explaining a new estimate by the central bank of neutral interest rates for Britain's economy, stressed the gradual path for rising rates ahead.

The BoE said its forecasts were based on bets by investors who expect another rate hike only in late 2019 or early 2020, with Bank Rate creeping up to 1.1% in late 2020. That was a fraction lower than a projection of rates of 1.2% the last time the BoE published forecasts for the economy in May.

The BoE said the economy "could be influenced significantly by the response of households, businesses and financial markets" to news on Brexit.

But the central bank continued to stress that Britain's economy was at risk of too much inflation even with slow growth.

The central bank said inflation in two years' time was likely to be 2.09%, above the BoE's 2% target.

It expected Britain's economy would grow by 1.4% this year, unchanged from its forecast in May, but it nudged up its 2019 forecast to 1.8% from 1.7%.

Wages were likely to be growing by an annual 2.5% at the end of this year, a bit slower than forecast in May, before picking up to 3.25% in 2019, unchanged from before.

In its statement on Thursday, the central bank said it saw "tentative signs that actual and prospective protectionist policies were starting to have an adverse impact" on global trade.

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