24 Jan

Mpc voted 8-1 for rate freeze

Mpc voted 8-1 for rate freeze

The Bank of England's monetary policy committee (MPC) were almost unaninimous in their decision not to reduce interest rates this month, it has been revealed.

Minutes from the meeting showed that the move to hold interest rates at 5.5 per cent had the backing of eight members and was only opposed by one.

Dave Blanchflower voted against the move on the grounds of concerns over inflation and fears of a slowdown for the UK economy.

Commenting on the release of the minutes, Philip Shaw, chief economist at Investec, said that he still believed that a cut is due in February, but that this will be of no more than 0.25 per cent.

He told Reuters: "We stand by our view that rates will come down again next month but barring a sudden deterioration in the growth outlook the Monetary Policy Committee is unlikely to ease aggressively.

"The fact that GDP growth in the fourth quarter held up relatively well supports that view."


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