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Financial News: Bank Of England Expands QE; Holds Rate

Bank Of England Expands QE; Holds Rate

11/05/2020 - 02:27:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The Bank of England expanded its asset purchase programme by a more-than-expected GBP 150 billion and retained its record low interest rate as the economy entered a second lockdown.

The nine-member Monetary Policy Committee unanimously decided to raise the size of the asset purchase programme to GBP 895 billion from GBP 745 billion. Economists were expecting an expansion of GBP 100 billion. The MPC also voted 9-0 to hold the interest rate at 0.10 percent. The bank had altogether reduced the rate by 65 basis points at two unscheduled meetings in March.

Policymakers said they stand ready to take further actions if necessary to help the economy recover and ensure that inflation returns to 2 percent target.

Consumer price inflation is expected to remain at, or just above 0.5 percent during most of the winter, before rising quite sharply towards the target as the effects of lower energy prices and VAT dissipate. Inflation is projected to be 2 percent in two years' time.

Due to the reimposition of social distancing measures, the bank expects overall GDP to fall by around 2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, the jobless rate is projected to climb to around 6.3 percent. The unemployment rate is expected to peak at around 7.75 percent in the second quarter of 2021.

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