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April 8, 2010

Bank of England keeps rates at 0.5%

by Richard Kilner

Story link: Bank of England keeps rates at 0.5%

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has today chosen to keep the interest rate steady at 0.5%.

The interest rate, the lowest in the nation’s history, has now remained unchanged for over a year.

In addition, the MPC elected to maintain the size of the quantitative easing asset purchase programme at £200bn.

Quantitative easing, effectively printing money, is an unusual step in the United Kingdom, and was taken to augment the record low interest rate and help support the economy with an unprecedented monetary stimulus.

Many countries have retained the low interest rates that resulted from rate slashing to stave off the worst effects of the global recession, and the eurozone’s 1% rate has been in place almost as long as the UK’s 0.5% rate.

However, Australia, which has weathered the storm better than most economies, recently increased rates by 25 basis points to 4.25%.

 

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