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May 20, 5:11 AM EDT

Bank of England unanimous in keeping rates steady


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LONDON (AP) -- Bank of England policymakers voted unanimously to keep interest rates steady at their meeting this month, even as they hinted that record low rates would have to be lifted eventually.

Minutes of the May 7-8 meeting released Wednesday show policymakers agree it was "more likely than not" that the rate now standing at a record low 0.5 percent would rise over the three-year forecast period.

But with inflation at close to zero, there's little pressure for the bank to lift rates now.

Vicky Redwood, chief U.K. economist at Capital Economics, underlined that while the Bank of England met before the release of data showing consumer prices fell annually in April, the drop had been predicted.

She notes policymakers reiterated the belief that the weakness in inflation will be temporary.

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