The November poll showed a December hike was a narrow favourite, but since that poll MPC member Michael Saunders has said he want further information on the Omicron mutant of COVID-19 before deciding how to vote this month.

Saunders voted for an interest rate hike last month.

HSBC commentary:

"While the Dec. 16 meeting has looked like an incredibly close call at times, we think the MPC will vote unanimously to keep rates on hold, amid the considerable uncertainty around the COVID-19 situation

One of the reasons we have been saying since the summer for why February is the earliest likely time for a hike is because of the risk of a winter wave of COVID-19 weighing heavily on economic activity."

Indeed, this from Wednesday is ominous: