LONDON — The Bank of England increased the key interest rate by 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent on Thursday, the first time since 2004 that it has implemented consecutive rate hikes.

Of the nine members of the rate-setting monetary policy committee, five voted for an increase of 0.25 percent while the other four wanted a steeper hike of 0.5 percent, reflecting growing concerns about rising prices.

The committee also warned that inflation will peak in April at around 7.25 percent, roughly two percent higher than previously envisioned, due to consistent energy price growth worldwide.

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