Bank of England holds rates as pressure to hike in 2014 builds

THE BANK of England’s policymaking committee announced another month of inaction yesterday, despite the suggestion that a rate hike would now come as soon as this year.

The monetary policy committee (MPC) voted once again to hold the Bank’s benchmark interest rate at 0.5 per cent, but the minutes of the latest meeting will not reveal whether the decision was unanimous for two weeks.

“The voting unanimity at the Bank in recent months may be hiding bigger disagreements behind the scenes. The minutes of today’s meeting, due in two weeks, will be key for judging how the consensus is changing,” said Berenberg’s Robert Wood.

Barclays, Oxford Economics, BNP Paribas, Berenberg and Investec are all now suggesting that a hike in interest rates will come this year.

This week’s decision was the first for Kristin Forbes, the MPC’s first female member for five years.

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