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Bank Of England Holds Rate, QE Steady

The Bank of England kept its key interest rate and bond purchases unchanged on Thursday, and reiterated that a further tightening of policy at a gradual pace may be needed if the economy expands in line with projections.

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.

"The MPC judged at this month's meeting that the current stance of monetary policy was appropriate," the bank said.

"The Committee continued to judge that, were the economy to develop broadly in line with its February Inflation Report projections, an ongoing tightening of monetary policy over the forecast period, at a gradual pace and to a limited extent, would be appropriate to return inflation sustainably to the 2 percent target at a conventional horizon."

The central bank forecast 0.3 percent growth for the first quarter.

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