The Minutes of the latest Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee meeting, held on the 3rd and 4th of October showed that decisions were unanimous. The Committee voted unanimously to keep the bank rate unchanged at 0.5% and also the proposition to continue the programme of asset purchases totaling L375 billion was accepted unanimously. The Minutes contained relatively little new info. Inflation is expected to remain a little above the 2% target in the near term, while the pick-up in activity should come through a little later than anticipated in the previous inflation report. The Committee also discussed the likely effectiveness of further asset purchases, but expectations were mixed.
The MPC concluded that there was little to be gained from changing the programme of asset purchases at the October meeting as they would have the opportunity to gauge the impact of past and prospective policy actions at home and abroad over the next month, when a new Inflation Report will be available. The Minutes clearly suggest that there is disagreement on the need for further asset purchases due to divisions on the likely effects. All options remain therefore open for the next meeting, although they are apparently more cautious to increase their asset purchases than could have been expected.