MPC voted 8-1 for rate freeze


The monetary policy committee (MPC) voted eight to one to keep the base rate on hold, according to the minutes from the latest meeting.

Only one member, David Blanchflower, voted for a cut, with the majority preferring to keep the rate at five per cent. Mr Blanchflower voted against, preferring a reduction of 25 basis points.

And, in disappointing news for commercial investors looking to trim their costs, the signs are that the base rate will stay at that level for at least "a few months".

The MPC’s main concern at present is the prospect of rising inflation, with the latest consumer price index suggesting the annual rate is now at three per cent.

The minutes revealed that "some members" had alluded to the "significant risk" that weakening property markets might have a "more substantial" effect on the rest of the economy than implied by the central projection.