Before today's statement, investors saw a almost 50-50 chance of the next hike coming in May, when the Bank of England is due to update its economic forecasts again.
Mark Carney said it was likely to be necessary to raise rates "to a limited degree in a gradual process but somewhat earlier and to a somewhat greater extent than we thought in November".
Interest rates can be expected to rise "somewhat earlier" according to Bank of England, priming households and companies to expect a higher cost of borrowing in the coming years, even as the United Kingdom prepares to leaves the European Union and "decouples" from the booming global economy.
The projection now is that the next interest rate rise could be in May.
Consequently, the BoE raised its main interest rate in November for the first time in a decade - to 0.5 percent from a record-low 0.25 percent.
"As for now we stick to our forecast that the bank stays on hold throughout 2018, although the risks are tilted towards a less accommodative policy", added Nordea Bank. It now still expects average wage growth to pick up to 3 per cent this year, despite similar forecasts of an uptick frequently being proven wrong in the past. "Future decisions on interest rates will therefore depend heavily on progress in negotiations with the European Union". The move, when it comes, will see the Bank revert to a more "normal" stance on inflation even though times are far from what were previously recognised as normal.
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The Bank's analysts believe investment would be 1.5pc to 2pc higher in the 12 months to June 2018 were it not for Brexit-related uncertainty.
"The guidance is likely to remain data-dependent, with a shift to tighten rates requiring further evidence in a build-up in inflationary pressures", said Radhika Rao, group economist for DBS in Singapore.
The BoE linked the sluggish British outlook to slower growth in the labour force, as fewer immigrants come to Britain after Brexit, and to the country's ageing population.
".fiscal slippage as indicated in the Union Budget could impinge on the inflation outlook", the bank said. To be sure, sterling uncertainty remains, not least given the relapse of the dollar as its recent revival threatens to fade.
"What will be key now is to watch how sterling responds, as a much quicker appreciation could produce a faster fall in inflation and potentially nullify the need for a more rapid tightening cycle".
However that scenario would still leave inflation above its 2% target in three years' time, the Bank of England said today, suggesting it might hikes rates by more than investors have been expecting recently. Household consumption growth is expected to remain relatively subdued, reflecting weak real income growth.