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BoE Keeps Rates On Hold

The Bank of England decided to hold its key interest rate and asset purchase programme, on Thursday, amid raising near-term growth projection.

At the rate setting meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to maintain the benchmark rate at 0.50 percent. The bank had previously raised its key rate in November 2017, which was the first hike in a decade.

Policymakers unanimously decided to maintain the quantitative easing at GBP 435 billion.

All members thought that the current policy stance remained appropriate to balance the demands of the MPC's remit, the minutes showed.

The committee judged that monetary policy would need to be tightened somewhat earlier and by a somewhat greater degree over the forecast period than anticipated in order to return inflation sustainably to the target.

In the Inflation Report, the bank said GDP growth was projected to remain around its current pace, a slightly stronger near-term outlook than in November, underpinned by strengthening global growth.

The economy was forecast to expand 1.7 percent by the first quarter of 2018 and 1.8 percent by early 2019.

At the same time, the fall in consumer price inflation was projected to be more gradual in the near term than expected at the time of the November Report. And it was possible that CPI inflation could rise back above 3 percent temporarily, the bank noted.

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