Interest rates to remain at 0.5% for 19th consecutive month

Financial News

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to keep UK interest rates at the record low of 0.5% for the 19th month running. It will also stick with the £200 billion quantitative easing (QE) programme and, as of yet, has no plans to expand it further.

Last month MPC member Andrew Sentance voted for a rate rise for the fourth consecutive month and fellow committee member Andrew Posen called for an expansion in QE – the policy of injecting money into the economy to increase the supply of money and prompt demand.

Chief economic adviser to the CBI business group Ian McCafferty said: “There is a lively debate between MPC members. Some fear that the weakness of the domestic economy will drive inflation well below target, thus requiring further monetary stimulus”.

He added: “Others think the medium-term inflation outlook is less benign owing to imported raw material costs and loosening inflation expectations. With the economy likely to be sluggish over the winter, this debate is unlikely to be resolved in the near term”.