The Bank’s asset purchase programme will remained unchanged at £325bn, a decision that is likely to be welcomed by pension funds that have raised concerns over the impact QE has on pension scheme deficits.
However, Andrew Goodwin, senior economic advisor to the Ernst & Young Item Club, said falling inflation made a further bout of QE increasingly likely.
‘This decision could really have gone either way,’ he said. ‘The economic data has been very mixed since the last meeting, providing no clear signal in either direction, but the escalation of the problems in the eurozone may have convinced some members to take a more proactive stance.
‘We wouldn’t be surprised if the minutes show the vote is more split than it was in May, particularly given that [MPC member] Adam Posen has hinted that his previous change of stance would probably only be temporary.’
Mr Goodwin noted that there were several potentially significant events before the Bank’s MPC next meets that could make QE even more likely, including Greek elections on June 17 and the European Union summit at the end of the month.
‘If these events do not pass off smoothly then the MPC will find itself under intense pressure to act at the July meeting.’
Last month Bank of England deputy governor Charlie Bean downplayed the impact that QE had had on pension scheme deficits and raised the potential for a fresh economic stimulus in the future.