Bank of England maintains rate amid downward pressure
Two members of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted for a cut in interest rates this month, the first votes for a cut in two years.

Charles Bean and Marian Bell argued that a reduction in the main rate by 25 basis points was appropriate in order to stop the consumer confidence slowdown 'becoming more entrenched', according to minutes from the committee's June meeting, released today.

The June vote was in sharp contrast to May's meeting, when the committee was split eight to one, with deputy governor Sir Andrew Large arguing for a rise in interest rates because of inflationary pressures, and the remaining members wanting no change.

Retailers have been calling for a rate drop as low consumer confidence rocks the high street, but the Bank of England's June vote marked the first time since July 2003 that any monetary policy committee member had voted for a rate cut.