Bank of England holds base rate for 84th month

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The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has kept the base rate at 0.5 per cent in its March meeting.

The committee voted 9-0 to keep base rates at their current low levels, the same vote as the February meeting.

Markets are increasingly pessimistic of a rate rise this year, with many pushing their expectations for the first rise back to 2017.

In particular, the MPC highlighted that inflation remains “well below the 2 per cent target”.

The minutes say: “This is due predominantly to unusually large drags from energy and food prices, which are expected to fade in the coming months.  But core inflation also remains subdued, a consequence of the past appreciation of sterling, weak global inflation and restrained domestic cost growth.”