A DECISION next month on whether to print more money to prop up Britain’s ailing economy now looks a close call amid signs of a growing split among Bank of England policymakers.
Minutes from October’s rate-setting meeting, published yesterday, showed members voted unanimously in favour of holding borrowing costs at 0.5 per cent and maintaining quantitative (QE) easing at £375 billion.
However, some members of the nine-strong monetary policy committee (MPC) questioned the impact that further QE would have on the broader economy.
The committee also expects rising energy, utility and agricultural commodity prices to filter through to ramp up the cost of living later in the year.
The latest bout of QE should be completed by the time of the MPC’s meeting next month, and most analysts had been expecting the programme to be extended in November.
Vicky Redwood, chief UK economist at Capital Economics, said it was a “close call” whether the majority of MPC members will vote for more QE next month.
She said: “Although the vote to leave policy unchanged this month was unanimous, there were ‘differences of view’ regarding the need for more QE further ahead.”
But IHS Global Insight economist Howard Archer said he still expected a further £50bn boost to QE in November, adding: “It is very possible that the MPC could decide to go for a lesser £25bn.”
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