Interest rates held by Bank of England

Pound to euro exchange rate According to Bloomberg the pound is currently trading at €1.138

Mr Haldane is seen as an influential member of the Monetary Policy Committee, which sets interest rates in order to target inflation at 2 per cent support the United Kingdom economy.

The change of vote from Haldane will heighten expectations from City economists that the Bank is preparing to raise interest rates at its next meeting in August.

The Bank of England's top economists today voted to hold interest rates steady, but with a reduced majority of six votes to three as chief economist Andy Haldane added his weight to the calls to tighten monetary policy.

Sterling rose from a seven-month low to $1.32 after the decision on hopes that Bank was moving towards raising rates in August or November.

Interest rates had been widely expected to rise in May throughout most of spring, however, a deterioration in economic data, bigger-than-expected-fall in inflation, and worries over the health of the High Street and British consumer put paid to that.

- The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee has left all its settings unchanged, as expected.

"A number of indicators of household spending and sentiment have bounced back strongly from what appeared to be erratic weakness in Q1, in part related to the adverse weather", the Bank said.

But economists believe that if the economy does show signs of picking up, an August rise is in play.

Bank of England Governor Carney made no direct reference to the outlook for the economy or interest rates in a speech focussed on financial services in London on Thursday evening.

"A key assumption in the MPC's May projections was that the dip in output growth in the first quarter would prove temporary, with momentum recovering in the second quarter", the committee said.

"Employment growth has remained solid". In response, the probability of an August hike rose from around 33% to almost 46%, judging by market pricing, and that boosted GBP/USD and GBP/JPY while weakening EUR/GBP.

Haldane and the two other policymakers who voted to raise rates to 0.75 percent said recent wage deals and strong demand for workers raised the prospect of wages rising faster than the Bank forecast, and there was no reason to wait.

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