Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bank of England Keeps Rate at 0.50%, APP at 275B

The Bank of England (BoE) held the Bank Rate at a record low stimulatory level of 0.50%, and continued with its Asset Purchase Program (Quantitative Easing) target of GBP 275 billion, after increasing it by 75 billion at its October meeting.  On its asset purchase program, the Bank said: "The Committee expects the announced programme of asset purchases to take until early February to complete. The scale of the programme will be kept under review."  The Bank releases its minutes on the 25th of January.

The Bank also held the official Bank Rate unchanged at 0.50% at its December meeting last year; the rate has remained on hold since March 2009, when the Bank reduced the interest rate by 50 basis points to 0.50%.  The United Kingdom reported annual consumer price inflation of 5.2% in September, 4.5% in August, and 4.4% in July, and still above the Bank's inflation target of 2.00%.

The UK saw quarterly GDP growth of 0.5% in Q3 this year (0.1% in Q2, 0.5% in Q1), while annual economic growth was reported at 0.5% (0.7% in Q2, 1.6% in Q1).  The British pound (GBP) is basically flat against the US dollar so far this year, while the USDGBP exchange rate last traded around 0.64.


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