Bank of England board divided for the first time since 2011 on whether to raise interest rates

Markets Associated Press

Consensus among policymakers at the Bank of England has been shattered, with two of nine members of the monetary policy committee voting to increase interest rates from a record low of 0.5 percent.

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Minutes published Wednesday for the July meeting showed policymakers breaking ranks for the first time since 2011.

Economists had been speculating in recent weeks that the unanimity on the committee had been eroding as the economy grew stronger and despite tame inflation.

The minutes show that policymakers were divided about how much spare capacity remained in the economy amid weak wage growth. But two policymakers wanted an immediate increase in the rate by 0.25 percentage points, citing a fall in unemployment and signs of a tightening labor market.