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ECONOMIST VIEWS: WHAT DO YOU EXPECT THE MPC MINUTES TO REVEAL?

HOWARD ARCHER | IHS GLOBAL INSIGHT
A unanimous vote. All nine members voted for unchanged interest rates and QE in February and there seems little reason to expect anyone to have changed their mind at the March meeting. The MPC is likely to remain in "wait and see" mode until the distortions to activity work through and a clearer picture of the economy emerges. We certainly would not rule out further QE given the serious headwinds that the recovery still faces, although we suspect that most MPC members would prefer not to go down that road.

DAVID PAGE | INVESTEC
We expect March’s minutes to be another unanimous decision. But governor Mervyn King was eager to stress that it was too early to call an end to QE and we will watch these minutes for developments. We will also watch the debate over the inflation outlook, both in terms of the determination of the economy’s spare capacity and inflation’s sensitivity to it. Signs of further disharmony on this issue will add to questions of the MPC’s reliance on its published inflation outlook as a guide to future policy decisions.

JONATHAN LOYNES | CAPITAL ECONOMICS
The minutes are likely to confirm that the Committee is in wait and see mode while it assesses the economic outlook and the impact of its previous policy measures.The vote is pretty likely to have been unanimous. Perhaps most interesting will be any comments about the recent drop in the pound. But with the MPC pinning its hopes for a recovery on a revival in the UK’s net trade sector, we think that it may see the drop in the pound (assuming that it does not go into freefall) in a rather more positive light.