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Financial News: Bank Of England Holds Key Interest Rate Steady;

Bank Of England Holds Key Interest Rate Steady; Raises Growth Outlook

05/02/2019 - 07:35:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Bank of England policymakers unanimously decided to hold the key interest rate and asset purchases unchanged on Thursday and raised the growth outlook, while reiterating that policymakers would always aim to achieve the 2 percent inflation target.

The nine-member Monetary Policy Committee, led by Governor Mark Carney, held the bank rate unchanged at 0.75 percent, in line with economists' expectations.

The previous change in the bank rate was a quarter-point hike in August 2018 and the rate is now at its highest level since 2009.

The stock of corporate bond purchases was kept at GBP 10 billion and that of government bond purchases at GBP 435 billion.

In its May Inflation Report, the bank raised the first quarter growth projection to 0.5 percent from 0.3 percent predicted in February. However, the quarterly growth rate is forecast to slow to 0.2 percent in the second quarter. The upgrade to the first quarter growth projection partly reflected a larger-than-expected boost from companies in the United Kingdom and the European Union building stocks ahead of recent Brexit deadlines.

The UK was originally set to leave the EU on March 29, but the deadline has now been extended to October 31 as the Theresa May government failed to secure lawmakers' approval for a Brexit deal.

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