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BoE minutes show only Miles voted for more QE

BoE minutes show only Miles voted for more QE

22.11.2012 9:28

The Minutes of the latest Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee meeting showed that the decision to keep monetary policy on hold was not unanimous. Regarding the Bank Rate, the Committee voted unanimously in favour of the proposition to maintain the rate at 0.50%. Furthermore, the MPC discussed the likely effectiveness of reducing the Bank Rate below 0.50%, but concluded that it was unlikely to wish to reduce the Bank Rate in the foreseeable future. Regarding the stock of asset purchases, most members agreed that maintaining the size of the Committee’s asset purchase programme at the November meeting was appropriate. Only David Miles voted against the proposition and preferred to increase the size of the programme by L25 billion saying the degree of slack in the economy and the likely response of supply capacity to increased demand meant that it would be possible to achieve higher output growth without causing any material inflationary pressure. The Committee judged that inflation was roughly as likely to be above as below the target in two to three years’ time, but added that a case could be made for further easing in monetary conditions. Nevertheless, after the measures taken and especially the most recent decision to transfer gilt coupons received by the Asset Purchase Facility (APF) to the Exchequer, the MPC concluded that it was preferable to keep monetary policy unchanged. The added however that gilts held by the APF would start to mature in March 2013 and the Committee would decide on the appropriate size of the programme each monthly meeting, taking account of any maturing gilts. Although the BoE sounded soft on the economy, they are becoming more cautious on further asset purchases, especially after the decision to transfer coupons to the Exchequer, which is seen as a small easing in monetary policy.

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