The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee at its meeting today voted to maintain Bank Rate at 0.5%.

The Committee also voted to maintain the stock of purchased assets financed by the issuance of central bank reserves at £375 billion, and so to reinvest the £4.35 billion of cash flows associated with the redemption of the January 2015 gilt held in the Asset Purchase Facility.

The minutes of the meeting will be published at 9.30 a.m. on Wednesday 21 January.

Commenting Martin Beck, senior economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club, said:

"With continued low levels of inflation in 2015 and economic uncertainty on the rise, today's decision by the MPC to keep interest rates on hold is eminently justified.

Bank of England"The impact of the plummeting oil price on headline inflation, continued economic weakness in the euro-zone and the prospect of Greece-related turmoil in the currency block will no doubt have emboldened the MPC's doves. And while the MPC's hawks probably stuck to their guns in voting for a rate hike, their position is looking increasingly isolated.

"Looking forward, the MPC should continue to err on the side of caution. In the short-term CPI is heading towards zero and we believe that there is plenty of spare capacity in the economy. So even if low oil prices trigger a burst of strong growth, inflation should remain subdued."

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