By Matt Ayres

Minutes from the latest Bank of England meeting show that policymakers voted unanimously to hold interest rates at their current historic low of 0.5% again in April.

The news comes as inflation sits at a record low of 0%.
Bank policymakers expect the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) to fall into negative territory in the coming months and to remain low this year.

The minutes also show that committee members remain concerned about low wage growth.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) earlier this month showed average wages excluding bonuses rose by 1.8% in the thee months to February compared with the same period a year earlier.

But policymakers fear they are not rising quickly enough to meet the Bank's 2% inflation target in the medium term.

The minutes come a week before the ONS publishes its first estimate of UK economic growth for the three months to the end of March.

Despite evidence that the eurozone economy was beginning to show signs of improvement, the minutes showed policymakers thought there was still a risk of "weak price pressures persisting for longer than would be consistent with bringing inflation back to target within two years."

More positively, Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) members thought it was unlikely that economic growth could continue at its current pace for long without generating greater inflation in wages and prices.

Jeremy Cook, chief economist at the international payments company, World First, comments: “Today’s minutes show that the Bank of England remains quietly optimistic on the UK economy, noting the upgrade to growth in Q4 to 0.6% and for the whole of 2014 to 2.8% despite some recent weakness in activity data. Household spending is expected to recover in Q1 from a poor Q4 with the election expected to make little impact on upcoming investment into the UK economy”.

“For now inflation remains low, growth solid yet unspectacular and unemployment moving lower. The Bank is happy to not rock this boat just yet.”