Pedestrians walk past the main entrance to the The Bank of England in the City of London. Photo: AFP/Daniel Leal-Olivas

The Bank of England raised interest rates for the first time in more than ten years on Thursday, a move that was widely expected and supported by positive economic data this week. The benchmark rate was set at 0.5%, up from 0.25%.

BOE Governor Mark Carney said the bank projects “very gradual” rate increases over the next three years as inflation eases.

Allaying fears that the rate hike would come as the economy slows, manufacturing survey data released Wednesday showed the sector expanding much faster than expected. The IHS purchasing managers’ index rose to 56.3 in October, up from 56.0, the Financial Times reports. Analysts expected a drop to 55.9.

Manufacturing job growth reached its highest level in more than three years, according to the survey, marking a 15th consecutive month of job creation.