The Bank of England heightened expectations of further interest rate cuts as it emerged that policymakers voted unanimously to cut the base rate a quarter of a percentage point to 5.5% earlier this month. Daily Telegraph, Financial Times

All nine members of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee voted in favour of the first rate cut since August 2005, the first time they had voted as one for a reduction since the emergency cut that followed the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Minutes of the meeting reveal that hawkish deputy governor Rachel Lomax voted for a cut for the first time since she joined the MPC in July 2003.

The Bank said it had trimmed borrowing costs in a bid to combat slower economic growth hit by the ongoing global credit squeeze.