The Bank of England on Thursday announced its biggest interest rate hike since 1989 to combat sky-high inflation that it warned was pushing Britain into a recession set to last until mid-2024. Following a regular meeting, the BoE said it was lifting borrowing costs by 0.75 percentage points to three percent — the highest level since the 2008 global financial crisis — to cool UK inflation that it sees shortly peaking at a four-decade high near 11 percent. “It is a tough road ahead,” BoE governor Andrew Bailey told a press conference. “The sharp increase in energy prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has made us poorer as a nation. The level of economic activity is likely to be flat and even fall for some time,” he warned. The latest rate increase mirrors aggressive rate-tightening by central banks worldwide as food prices and energy bills soar. On Wednesday, the US Federal Reserve sprang a fourth consecutive hike of 0.75 percentage points — and its boss Jerome Powell suggested they would go higher than expected. The BoE said British inflation would peak at 10.9 percent this year, but with the level so high, analysts said the central bank rate could hit as high as five percent in the coming months.