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Bank keeps rates on hold but cut still on cards as growth weakens

The Bank of England has held interest rates at 0.75% but kept the door firmly open to a cut if Brexit uncertainties and global growth fears do not let up.

Minutes of the Bank's latest decision revealed that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted 7-2 to keep rates unchanged - with Jonathan Haskel and Michael Saunders repeating their calls for a cut to 0.5%.

The Bank slashed its forecast for growth in the fourth quarter to just 0.1%, having previously expected growth of 0.2%, as Brexit uncertainty continues to hamper activity.

It said that, following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decisive election victory and expectations that a Brexit deal may now be ratified before the January 31 deadline, "it was possible that household and business sentiment could pick up in the near term".

Global growth was also showing "tentative" signs of stabilising.

But the Bank added: "If global growth failed to stabilise or if Brexit uncertainties remained entrenched, monetary policy might need to reinforce the expected recovery in UK GDP growth and inflation." (PA)

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