Bank of England members who opposed lower borrowing costs in August declined to press the case for reversing the move this month, it emerged today.

Minutes from the meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) a fortnight ago showed that the nine members were unanimous in the view that interest rates should be pegged at 4.5 per cent.

The outcome was widely expected in the City, which believed the MPC will want firm evidence that the economy is responding to lower borrowing costs before acting again on rates.

In August four MPC members, including Bank governor Mervyn King, believed their colleagues were being too hasty in wanting the first rate cut in two years, and voted against the move.

The report showed the MPC considered the impact of Hurricane Katrina on growth in the United States before freezing rates.

''While there remained uncertainty about the likely effects of Hurricane Katrina on US GDP growth, past experience suggested that those effects might be relatively small and short-lived,'' the MPC said.

However, there was concern at oil prices hitting a new record above 70 US dollars a barrel in the wake of the hurricane as they could shake world demand at the same time as possibly driving export prices higher.

The MPC noted that economic growth in the UK remained sluggish for the fourth quarter in a row, and recent growth in consumer demand had been weaker than expected.

Survey evidence and economic data over the summer had suggested that there was unlikely to be a pickup in the UK economy between July and September.

The report also showed that the MPC was broadly in agreement on the threats to the Bank's inflation targets.