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Policymakers at the Bank of England unanimous on rate vote, see deflation possible this year


LONDON — Policymakers at the Bank of England voted unanimously this month to keep interest rates at a record low of 0.5 percent, ending months of division on how to best keep Britain's economy growing.

Policymakers had been divided about whether it is time to raise rates. But with inflation at 0.5 percent, well below the 2 percent target, pressure to do so remains muted.

Minutes released Wednesday of the meeting held Jan. 7-8 suggest show a rate hike may be a ways off. The minutes show that committee members believe there's a roughly even chance of some deflation in the first half of 2015.

Meanwhile, the Office of National Statistics says the unemployment rate fell to 5.8 percent from September to November 2014, down from 7.1 percent a year earlier.

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