MPC members 'undecided on QE'

8 March 2012

Officials at the Bank of England are split on whether or not to implement further quantitative easing (QE) in the near future, experts believe.

Later today (8 March), members of the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) are scheduled to hold their monthly meeting to discuss interest rates and the institution's asset purchasing budget.

It is widely expected that the nine policymakers will keep the base rate at its historically low level of 0.5 per cent for the 36th month in succession, while also holding fire on introducing further monetary stimulus.

Last month, the MPC opted to increase the Bank's budget by £50 billion ($79 billion) and there is a growing debate over whether it will decide to repeat that commitment in May, when the present QE runs out.

Philip Shaw, economist at Investec, told Reuters "there does appear to be a growing division on the committee", as policymakers cannot decide if more stimulus is needed.

By Asim Shah

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