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Bank of England “uncertain” about base rate future

by: Emma Lunn
  • 22/04/2015
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Bank of England “uncertain” about base rate future
Policymakers at the Bank of England have refused to make any promises about how and when interest rates will start to rise.

The minutes of the meeting on 8/9 April, published today, show a unanimous agreement to keep the base rate at the historic low of 0.5%, although two members said their decision was “finely balanced”.

The MPC had given guidance in its February 2014 Inflation Report on how it would seek to achieve the inflation target. The guidance said that when bank rate did begin to rise, “it was expected to do so more gradually than in previous cycles.”

However minutes from the April meeting said: “The actual path bank rate would follow over the next few years was uncertain, and would depend on economic circumstances. The committee’s guidance on the likely pace and extent of interest rate rises was an expectation, not a promise.”

April was the third month in a row that no one on the MPC voted for a rate rise.

Nick Dixon, investment director at Aegon UK, said: “Benign inflation, muted wage growth, and political uncertainty has set the MPC’s agenda to economic calm. The prospect of rate setters sitting on their hands well into 2016 seems most likely.”



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