MPC unanimous on holding rates amid inflation risk

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Each of the nine members of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted to hold interest rates at the historic low of 0.5% this month, minutes from their latest meeting show.

Members voted for an unchanged rate despite what the Bank believes could be "more persistent" upward pressure on inflation.

Meanwhile, the minutes, published this morning, show that MPC member David Miles was the lone voice calling for an increase in the government's asset purchase programme, known as quantitative easing (QE).

Miles voted to inject a further £25bn into the economy, which would have taken the total QE programme to £350bn. Adam Posen, who has long argued for more QE, dropped his call for another round of stimulus.

The Bank said further shocks to oil and other commodity prices remain a threat and also highlighted the risk of "greater external price pressures" from other sources and a "greater pass-through of these pressures to consumer prices."

Yesterday, the Office for National Statistics said the CPI measure of inflation increased from 3.4% in February to 3.5% in March.

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