Rates on hold. Again.
The Monetary Policy Committee at the Bank of England have voted to keep interest rates on hold again at 0.5%.
This means there has been no move away from the historically low interest rate of 0.5% for 25 months, despite calls to start increasing the interest rate due to stubbornly high price inflation.
We will have to wait to see the minutes from this meeting to find out how members voted, but last month only three of the nine MPC members voted for a rate increase.
Two of the three voted for a 0.25% rate rise last month, with the other calling for a 0.5% interest rate rise.
Keeping interest rates on hold, for now, is the right decision.
Whilst price inflation remains above target, this is largely due to measures that would not be influenced by higher domestic interest rates.
Temporary measures, such as the VAT rise in January, and imported inflation due to factors such as high commodity prices, will fall out of the calculation naturally and will not be forced out any sooner by a rate rise.
What an interest rate rise now could achieve is an unwelcome return to recession.
UK economic recovery remains fragile, and any increase to interest rates would start to damage consumer confidence and spending.
By looking through the short-term inflation concerns and by considering the impact on economic recovery, the Bank has made a smart and brave decision to keep rates on hold again this month.