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February 14, 2018
An undisputed vote by the Bank of England’s monetary policy makers has elected to keep interest rates and quantitative easing (QE) ‘on hold’.
The minutes from September’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting suggest that the members believe the economy is growing stronger, as ‘no member judged that further stimulus was appropriate at present’.
Two members had previously commented that they thought an expansion of QE may be needed to aid the economic recovery; however they have since revised their opinions.
The decision to keep interest rates at 0.5% was unanimous.
The bank has pledged to keep interest rates low until unemployment falls to 7%, assuming inflation is kept under control. The Bank’s larger aim is to keep the inflation rate at 2%. This policy of ‘forward guidance’ was launched in August under the new governor and chairman, Mark Carney, in the hope that presenting longer term plans will make interest rates more predictable and therefore encourage more lending.
As a response to the MPC’s minutes, the pound rose against other currencies