Bank of England holds key interest rate at 0.50%

The Bank of England will stick with its record-low interest rate and amount of stimulus to support the economy, it said on Thursday amid easing inflation and solid growth for Britain.

"The Bank of England's MPC (monetary policy committee) at its meeting on 9 April voted to maintain Bank Rate at 0.50 percent," it said in a statement.

"The committee also voted to maintain the stock of purchased assets financed by the issuance of central bank reserves at £375 billion ($628 billion, 455 billion euros)."

The panel had held a shortened meeting on Wednesday, instead of over two days, in order to allow some members to attend a key meeting of the International Monetary Fund in Washington.

Thursday's decisions sparked little reaction in financial markets because they were in line with market expectations amid easing inflation and solid economic growth in Britain, analysts said.

"The Bank of England clearly wants to nurture recovery and not to risk choking it off by raising interest rates too early or too fast," said Howard Archer, economist at consultants IHS Global Insight.

The BoE last year vowed not to start lifting rates until the unemployment rate falls to at least 7.0 percent, under a new forward guidance strategy launched by governor Mark Carney.

However, the bank tweaked the strategy after the rate fell more sharply than anticipated.

Under new guidance, the BoE will now seek to absorb all the spare capacity in the economy as it looks to keep inflation close to a government-set target of 2.0 percent, before hiking rates.

"The stability set by Mark Carney in setting his forward guidance policy has brought this meeting to somewhat of a standstill and created a somewhat non-event," noted analyst Joshua Mahony at traders Alpari.

Britain's 12-month inflation rate slowed to 1.7 percent in February, the lowest level for more than four years, while the unemployment rate stands close to a five-year low at 7.2 percent.

"With inflation falling and plenty of slack still left in the labour market, today's no-change decision by the MPC is likely to have been unanimous again," said Capital Economics analyst Samuel Tombs.

"And with the UK set for a favourable period of strong growth and low inflation, we still think the MPC will be able to leave rates on hold until late 2015."

Borrowing costs have now stood at 0.50 percent for more than five years, since March 2009, when it had also launched the QE stimulus in an attempt to boost lending and breathe life into the economy.

Britain is meanwhile on course to outshine the world's top advanced economies this year, according to forecasts published by the International Monetary Fund.

The nation's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow by 2.9 percent this year, the IMF predicted earlier this week.

That puts Britain ahead of the United States, Germany and Canada, and marked an upgrade from the previous IMF growth estimate of 2.4 percent.

The British economy expanded by 1.7 percent last year, according to recent downwardly-revised data.

However, this was still the strongest growth since before the global financial crisis.

For further insight into Thursday's BoE gathering, economists must wait until April 23, when minutes are scheduled for publication.

Loading...
 
Recent Quotes
Symbol Price Change % Chg 
Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the "Enter symbol/company" at the bottom of this module.
You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes.
 
Sign-in to view quotes in your portfolios.

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1.2526-0.0002-0.02%
    USDSGD=X
    1.7302-0.0002-0.01%
    EURSGD=X
    2.1033-0.0002-0.01%
    GBPSGD=X
    81.7693+0.00190.00%
    SGDJPY=X
    6.1905+0.0004+0.01%
    SGDHKD=X
    2.5850+0.0002+0.01%
    SGDMYR=X
    9,116.9668-3.3359-0.04%
    SGDIDR=X
    4.9692-0.004-0.08%
    SGDCNY=X
    1.1684-0.0007-0.06%
    AUDSGD=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1,295.80-7.90-0.61%
    GCQ14.CMX
    19.65+0.02+0.08%
    SIK14.CMX
    90.18-0.65-0.72%
    ^XAU
    3.04+0.02+0.51%
    HGK14.CMX
    104.59+0.83+0.80%
    CLK14.NYM
  • Bonds
    Bonds
    TreasuryYield (%)Yield Change
    1.73+0.08
    ^FVX
    2.72+0.08
    ^TNX
    3.52+0.06
    ^TYX

MARKET MOVERS

  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.115-0.002-1.71%
    B22.SI
    0.48+0.020+4.35%
    5GJ.SI
    2.27+0.090+4.13%
    5ME.SI
    2.190.0000.00%
    JS8.SI
    0.61+0.005+0.83%
    E5H.SI
  • % Gainers
    % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.162+0.034+26.56%
    5GF.SI
    0.20+0.034+20.48%
    5WD.SI
    0.59+0.050+9.26%
    L5I.SI
    0.28+0.020+7.69%
    C33.SI
    0.215+0.015+7.50%
    5UE.SI
  • % Losers
    % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.103-0.010-8.85%
    5OS.SI
    0.112-0.008-6.67%
    5RC.SI
    0.355-0.025-6.58%
    KJ9.SI
    0.215-0.015-6.52%
    F9M.SI
    0.29-0.020-6.45%
    5PC.SI