Commenting on the MPC minutes published today David Kern, economic adviser to the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“Today’s MPC minutes highlight the growing threats facing the global economy, threats which have been further confirmed by the dramatic actions taken by the US Fed in recent days.

“The minutes acknowledge that medium term inflation dangers in the UK will fall as growth slows, but at the same time short term inflation risks could worsen in reaction to higher energy and commodity prices.  The fact that two MPC members (rather than one as expected) voted for a cut in rates in March gives us hope that the Committee is moving towards a more flexible line.

“It is also significant that the new labour market figures published today by the ONS show annual average earnings growth at only 3.7 per cent, a very muted figure.

“Against this background we continue to urge the MPC to cut rates in April.”