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Bank of England votes 7-2 for no-change

26 March 2018

"The more hawkish members of the Monetary Policy Committee may vote for a hike as soon as (Thursday), while we fully expect a majority to follow suit. on May 10", UBS interest rates strategist John Wraith said.

"Recent snow-related disruption was likely to have a measurable adverse effect on growth in the first quarter, although it was hard to quantify the precise extent of this", the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) said.

"Provided the balance between global tailwinds and Brexit headwinds remains where it is now, supporting United Kingdom growth at or above potential, and provided evidence continues to accumulate that a tight labour market is actually pushing up domestic inflationary pressures, I expect that Bank Rate will need to rise further over the forecast period", Vlieghe said, in a speech, Friday.

Retail sales grew by 0.8 per cent in February, having fallen by 0.2 per cent in January.

Considering that the committee voted unanimously at the last meeting, the two votes in favor of a hike might be interpreted as a change in policy direction in May.

Carney has said interest rate policy will depend heavily on Brexit talks progressing smoothly and not derailing confidence.

One of Gordon Brown's first moves as chancellor in 1997 was to hand control of interest rates to an independent Bank of England.

As policymakers Ian McCafferty and Michael Saunders both pushed for an immediate interest rate hike this helped to bolster the odds of the BoE following through with further monetary tightening at its May meeting.

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The Bank of England chose to keep its key interest rate unchanged, but in a split vote as the minority sought immediate tightening citing easing slack and accelerating pay growth.

'The underlying three-month picture is one of falling sales, mainly due to strong declines across all main sectors in December'. UK GDP growth in the fourth quarter was revised down slightly, to 0.4%, with the composition of demand implying less rotation towards net trade and business investment than anticipated at the time of the February Report.

Bank of England will announce its latest monetary policy decisions at midday.

While maintaining its benchmark rate at 0.5 percent Thursday, the bank said rate increases are likely this year.

On Thursday, the BoE said developments since then broadly backed up their view.

Seven of the BOE's nine officials voted to hold off for now, arguing that incoming data on growth and inflation don't yet justify another rise.

"Given the fact that economic data has not been altogether positive in the past month, this will likely underline the Committee's resolve to begin the slow process of normalising monetary policy in the face of still stubbornly high inflation, but very tepid growth", Metcalfe said.

"It is very hard to read into these minutes any clues that the MPC is trying to downplay a May rate hike", he said.

Bank of England votes 7-2 for no-change