Bank getting closer to rate hike

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The Bank of England edged closer to lifting interest rates in February

The Bank of England edged closer to lifting interest rates earlier this month, minutes of the meeting have revealed, as the number of policymakers who voted in favour of a hike increased again.

Spencer Dale joined fellow monetary policy committee members Andrew Sentance and Martin Weale in voting to lift rates from their historic low of 0.5%, despite a shock decline in the economy in the final three months of 2010.

The details of the meeting suggest the nine-strong committee, which was split three ways as Adam Posen reiterated his stance for a second bout of quantitative easing, was becoming increasingly divided after the inflation rate soared to 4% in January.

The minutes, published a week after governor Mervyn King played down the prospect of lifting rates following the Bank’s quarterly inflation forecast, revealed that some members who voted for no change in policy thought the case for a rate hike had “grown in strength”.

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