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MPC divisions set to re-emerge despite unanimous February vote

by: Laura Dew
  • 18/02/2015
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MPC divisions set to re-emerge despite unanimous February vote
Monetary Policy Committee members voted unanimously to keep interest rates on hold this month, but potential divisions over the future path of rates have begun to emerge.

The minutes of the meeting held on 4-5 February, published today, show the nine committee members all voted to hold interest rates at 0.5% and maintain quantitative easing at £375bn.

While the decision was unanimous, the minutes noted two members of the committee felt there could still be a case for an increase in bank rates later this year. 

One member, however, saw loosening “as likely as tightening” given the UK’s falling headline inflation rate.

That follows comments made within the Bank of England’s quarterly Inflation Report, published last week, which suggested the Bank is now in a better position to cut rates if necessary.

The inflation rate remained a key topic of discussion in the minutes. The committee said it expects inflation could reach zero in the spring and stay around that level for several months, possibly falling below zero in the first half of the year.

It would then pick up sharply towards the end of 2015, according to MPC estimates, and return to 2% within two years as the effect of the oil price slump is removed from the figures.





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