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INSTANT VIEW-Bank of England surprises with 5-3 split on rates

LONDON, June 15 (Reuters) - The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee came its closest to voting for a rate rise since 2007, after the central bank unexpectedly said three of its policymakers backed increasing interest rates.

Economists had expected only one vote for a rate hike.

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Following are comments from economists and analysts.

BRIAN HILLIARD, ECONOMIST, SOCIETE GENERALE

"Surprising, but let's not get carried away, it's (Kristin) Forbes' last meeting. We have another member to replace Charlotte Hogg, so the balance could look less dramatic at the next meeting. Earnings growth is weak, it's not obvious that this is changing the monetary outlook. The risks (of a rate hike) have slightly increased clearly.

PETER DIXON, ECONOMIST, COMMERZBANK

"Surprised. It doesn't strike me that the UK is going to have a sustainable inflation problem, particularly given that the economy is slowing. I would be surprised if they managed to push through a rate hike any time soon. (The chance of a rate hike) probably has gone up but it's clearly not above 50 percent by any stretch of the imagination." (Reporting by Kate Holton and Paul Sandle; Editing by William Schomberg)