The Bank of England has said that higher inflation and a pick up in growth could lead to a rate hike in "the coming months".
But the committee was talking in much stronger terms about an increase, analysts said.
The pound climbed more than 1% against the dollar to $1.3363 after the Bank's announcement.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said: "The majority of members of the Monetary Policy Committee, myself included, see that that balancing act is beginning to shift, and that in order to... return inflation to that 2% target in a sustainable manner, there may need to be some adjustment of interest rates in the coming months.
"Now, we'll take that decision based on the data. But yes that possibility has definitely increased."