The Bank of England said today it may need to raise interest rates before the late 2019 date markets had been expecting.

The banks said it saw inflation rising and the economy growing steadily over the next few years. 

The Bank of England said the short-term squeeze on households from inflation since June's Brexit vote would be more severe than it predicted in February, with price growth peaking at over 2.8% late this year.

The UK economy shrugged off expectations of a recession after last year's referendum, and chalked up one of the fastest growth rates among major rich economies. 

But as official data has soured since the start of the year, many economists expect tougher times ahead as Prime Minister Theresa May starts two years of fraught Brexit talks before the country leaves the European Union at the end of March 2019. 

However, the Bank of England said it expected a pick-up in foreign trade and investment would offset a shortfall in domestic demand this year.

It said it then sees a sharp pick-up in hitherto lacklustre wage growth as unemployment fell to its lowest in a generation. 

"Monetary policy could need to be tightened by a somewhat greater extent over the forecast period than the very gently rising path implied by the market yield curve underlying the May projections," the Bank of England said today. 

This could imply the bank will raise rates for the first time since 2007 just as Britain leaves the EU. 

The financial market instruments which the Bank of England uses to construct its economic forecasts fully priced in an interest rate rise only in the final three months of 2019, nine months later than in the last set of forecasts in February. 

These market assumptions were based on average prices in the two weeks to May 3. 

Since then, markets have moved to price an earlier rate hike by the Bank of England and sterling has strengthened, which should help to push down on inflation. 

The Bank of England said its latest forecasts assumed "that the adjustment to the United Kingdom's new relationship with the European Union is smooth". 

In February the bank's governor Mark Carney warned of "twists and turns" on the road to Brexit. 

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted 7-1 in favour of keeping interest rates on hold at their record low 0.25% this month, as expected in a Reuters poll of economists. 

US academic Kristin Forbes, who leaves the MPC at the end of June, again voted to raise rates to 0.5% and warned that the overshoot in inflation could become more protracted without tightening policy now. 

Echoing language from the last policy meeting in March, the Bank of England said it would not take much upside news on growth and inflation for some other members of the MPC to join Forbes. 

The bank trimmed its forecast for UK growth this year to 1.9% from 2%, but nudged up its forecasts for 2018 and 2019 to 1.7% and 1.8%. 

Last year the UK economy grew by 1.8%. 

The steady outlook for growth contrasts with a sharp slowdown in the official measure of growth seen at the start of this year, when the economy expanded just 0.3% on the quarter - less than half its rate at the end of last year. 

The Bank of England said it expected first quarter growth to be revised up to 0.4%, a rate it also forecasts for the current quarter. 

But earlier today, the UK's Office for National Statistics said first-quarter growth in industrial production was weaker than it had previously estimated. 

The Bank of England said inflation was likely to fall back to 2.16% in just over two years' time - still above its target - and then pick up slightly going into 2020. 

Usually Bank of England inflation forecasts show inflation falling steadily back to target.