Interest rates have been at 0.5% despite speculation that some rate-setters on the Bank's nine-member monetary policy committee (MPC) might have voted for a hike. But an overall vote in favour would have surprised markets, with analysts focusing instead on the prospect of a rise towards the end of this year or early in the next.
In the second three months of the year gross domestic product (GDP) figures last month showed the UK had finally emerged from its worst downturn since the Second World War as output surpassed its pre-recession peak in early 2008.
Since then, survey data indicating strong growth in the dominant services sector has added to pressure for a rate rise - though a weaker performance for Britain's beleaguered manufacturers has led to calls for caution.
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