U.K. unemployment fell to its lowest rate in almost five years, putting it within touching distance of the 7 percent threshold at which Bank of England officials say they will review borrowing costs.

Unemployment declined to 7.1 percent in the three months through November from 7.4 percent in the quarter through October and will add pressure on BOE Governor Mark Carney to reassess his guidance policy, under which the Monetary Policy Committee has said it will consider raising interest rates once joblessness has fallen to 7 percent.

With that threshold approaching faster than officials had anticipated, economists say the central bank will refine the flagship policy when it publishes its quarterly Inflation Report on Feb. 12.