At its monthly meeting, four SMPC members voted to leave Bank Rate unchanged, while five members voted for a reduction. As happened last month, the rate cutters were split, with three desiring a reduction of 0.25% but two wanting a cut of 0.5%. Thus the motion for a 0.25% cut was passed but a 0.5% reduction was rejected by seven votes to two. All the SMPC members were worried about the global credit crunch and the danger that this could lead to a cracking of the robust UK economic conditions reported in the recent data. Several were perturbed by the poor current account balance of payments figures released on 20th December, however, and some thought that this could limit the scope for rate cuts.