The Bank of England will hike interest rates to their highest in more than 13 years, as it indicated it believed the UK economy is already in recession.

The central bank had previously projected the economy would grow in the current financial quarter but said it now believes Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will fall 0.1%.

It comes after a reported 0.2% fall in GDP in the second quarter and would mean the economy is currently in recession.

A technical recession is when the economy shrinks for two quarters in a row.

The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to raise rates to 2.25% – their highest since November 2008 – from 1.75%, in an effort to grapple big increases in the cost of living.

The hike was below the expectations of the financial markets, who had predicted a 0.75 percentage point risePA

In committee minutes, it said the “tight labour with wage growth and domestic inflation” above targets called for a “forceful response”.

Nevertheless, the hike was below the expectations of the financial markets, who had predicted a 0.75 percentage point hike in line with the rate increase announced by US Federal Reserve on Wednesday.

The MPC came to the decision after five members of the nine-strong board voted for the 0.5 percentage point increase, including Governor of the Bank Andrew Bailey.

Three members – Jonathan Haskel, Catherine Mann and Dave Ramsden – voted in favour of a 0.75 percentage point rise, while on member – Swati Dhingra – called for a 0.25 percentage point increase.

The decision to lift rates is a bid to keep inflation under control. It is the best tool that the Bank of England has to steer inflation – currently at 9.9% – back to its 2% target.

In the September meeting, the MPC also said inflation is now not due to soar as high as previously expected after Government announced plans to freeze energy prices for households earlier this month.

Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation is now set to peak at “just under 11%” in October. This would mark the highest inflation the UK has witnessed since January 1982.

In its previous meeting in August, the Bank of England warned that inflation was likely to peak at 13.3% and the country would witness five consecutive quarters of recession.