SMPC votes to hold interest rates by a slim majority - 1st August 2007

The SMPC voted by five votes to four to hold interest rates at their current level.

At its latest, and tenth anniversary, meeting, the IEA’s Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) voted to hold the official Bank Rate in August by a narrow five/four majority. Looking further ahead, there was an unusually wide spread of biases. Some SMPC members thought that Bank Rate was either at, or approaching, its peak while other members of the committee thought that a further rise, or rises, would be necessary, even if Bank Rate was raised to 6% on 2nd August.

The divergence of views held by the individual SMPC members mirrored an apparent similar lack of agreement on the MPC itself. The main causes seemed to depend: firstly, on how much weight should be attached to the continued rapid growth of broad money and credit; and, second, whether the slow growth of average earnings should be regarded as a more significant measure of the pressure of demand than the relatively strong figures being reported for the growth in national output and retail sales.

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