Huw Pill, the Bank of England's chief economist, said the central bank would have to hike interest rates again if inflation persists, a day after the BoE raised borrowing costs for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Pill said, "Well, I think that's true," when asked whether there would be "a lot more rate hikes to come" if inflation maintained at its current pace.

"The Bank's response yesterday was to a view that underlying, more domestically generated inflation here in the UK, probably concentrated around cost and wage pressures in a tightening labour market, will prove more persistent over time," he added.

The BoE raised its main interest rate to 0.25% from 0.1% on Thursday by an 8-1 vote, and financial markets forecast another increase to 0.5% by March.

BoE chief economist warns UK inflation likely to hit 5% | Financial Times

Consumer price inflation is expected to reach a 30-year high of roughly 6% in April, when regulated residential energy costs are due to climb, according to the central bank.

Pill said it was unclear whether the fast spreading Omicron variant of coronavirus will enhance or decrease inflationary pressures, reflecting the BoE's recent policy statement.

"We need to proceed cautiously now, in the sense that we need to analyse if Omicron will result in a reversal of the economy's - and notably the labour market's - dynamics that we've witnessed over the last six months or so."

"However, I believe it is equally important to remember that Omicron-related uncertainty is two-sided, at least as it is reflected in our main objective, our medium-term inflation outlook ambition," he added.