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Bank of England's Vlieghe: early rate hike is bigger risk - Independent

LONDON, July 3 (Reuters) - Bank of England policymaker Gertjan Vlieghe said a premature interest rate rise remains a bigger risk than one which comes a bit too late, reiterating his stance in favour of keeping rates unchanged as some of his colleagues have called for a rise.

"This is an environment where a premature hike would be a bigger mistake than one that turns out to be slightly late," Vlieghe told the Independent newspaper in an interview published on Monday.

He said growth in exports and investment would not offset a consumer slowdown.

Some BoE officials have said the drag on the economy from weaker consumer spending is likely to be offset by higher exports and investment. Two of the sitting eight monetary policymakers voted last month for a rate hike. A third supporter of a hike has since left the BoE.

Vlieghe said that while inflation was "uncomfortably high", upwards pressure on prices would also be "ultimately temporary."

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by William Schomberg)