Base rates could stayon hold until November

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The Independent Online

There appears to be little appetite among Bank of England policy-makers for an early rise in interest rates.

The latest minutes of the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee reveal that when the nine-strong committee met on 4 and 5 May they voted six to three in favour of keeping the Bank Rate at its historic low of0.5 per cent.

Of the three dissenters, the external member Andrew Sentance voted for a 0.5 percentage points rise. The Bank's chief economist, Spencer Dale, and Martin Weale, an independent member, opted for 0.25 points, as a "finely balanced" view. Adam Posen, an independent, wanted more quantitative easing.

Mr Sentance, the most hawkish member of the committee, retired at the last meeting. His replacement, Ben Broadbent, told MPs this week that he agreed with the MPC's recent judgments, and the balance of opinion within the group could now coalesce even more decisively towards leaving rates on hold – although the Bank has warned about the uncertainty of the outlook.

Markets expect the next move in the Bank Rate to come in November, rising to 0.75 per cent.

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