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Bank of England: rates to rise only gradually

Wednesday - 7/23/2014, 8:20am  ET

LONDON (AP) -- Bank of England policymakers are signaling that interest rates are likely to go up only gradually -- though debate on the matter seems to be getting hotter.

Minutes released Wednesday from their July meeting show the members disagree on whether rates should stay low to support the recovery or edge higher as economic growth gathers pace.

Policymakers opted to leave interest rates at a record low 0.5 percent and refrain from pumping more money into the economy.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, says policymakers are "becoming increasingly torn" but that unless the rate of economic growth weakens substantially in coming months, he'd expect to see them try "to talk up the likelihood of a first rate hike in November."

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