Ooohhh – events on the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee are getting interesting. Earlier this month, the MPC kept rates on hold at an all-time record low of 0.25pc.
We learnt last Thursday, though, that the decision was strikingly close – five votes to three, not the predicted seven to one. External members Ian McCafferty and Michael Saunders joined Kristin Forbes, who has backed a rate rise for months. They were right to do so – not least as the admirable Forbes is about to leave the MPC.
Having not already raised rates, the Bank of England is at risk of looking daft. News of this closer vote only slightly lessens that embarrassment. The “base” borrowing cost has been at ultra-low “emergency” levels for over eight years, since the aftermath of the sub-prime collapse.