At its latest meeting, the IEAs Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC), a group of leading monetary economists that monitors developments in UK monetary policy, voted to raise interest rates by seven votes to two. A vote to raise rates by 0.5% was lost by five votes to four.
The majority of SMPC members were concerned about the medium-term growth in broad money, which, they believed, has caused the recent rise in CPI inflation to above 3%. It was noted that inflation as measured by the old RPIX target measure was even higher than CPI inflation.
Members believed that the Bank of England risked a serious breach of credibility if it did not act decisively to steer inflation back towards the 2% target. Though, in the short run, inflation would fall, the current lax monetary conditions did not bode well for the medium term. Professor Anne Sibert, in voting for a 0.5% rise said, Most of the recent news has pointed in the direction of higher inflation. A 0.25% rise was justified last month; given that did not happen, there needs to be a 0.5% rise now. Gordon Pepper argued that the monetary authorities had