MPC vote unanimous again in January

The Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to keep the base rate on hold and maintain the quantitative easing programme at £275bn earlier this month, minutes of the meeting have revealed.

All nine members of the committee opted to keep the base rate at its historic low of 0.5 per cent and vote for no more QE at their January meeting, as they have for the last two months.

The minutes show that the MPC judged the majority of large banks have not yet passed on higher funding costs to their lending rates fully, meaning there is a risk of a tightening in credit conditions in the near term.

They also reveal that there has been little change in inflation expectations, with the committee believing inflation will continue to fall sharply in the coming months.

The MPC says there remain considerable downside risks from the global economy, but notes there have been some positive developments over the past month, with actions by the European Central Bank helping to reduce the immediate risk of severe difficulties in the European banking sector.