Thursday, December 5, 2013

U.K central bank maintains bank rate, target for QE

    The Bank of England (BOE) maintained its bank rate at 0.5 percent, as widely expected, along with its target for asset purchases worth 375 billion pounds.
    The BOE has held its bank rate steady since March 2009 and the last change in the size of its asset purchase program - known as quantitative easing (QE) - was in July 2012 when the target was raised by 50 billion pounds to the current level of 375 billion.
    In August the BOE adopted the forward guidance that it would not raise rates at least until the unemployment rate fall to 7.0 percent and is ready to expand its purchase of assets, such as bonds issued by the U.K. government,  while unemployment is above 7 percent.
   In its latest inflation report from November the BOE said there was a 40 percent chance of this jobless threshold being reached at the end of 2014 and a 60 percent change of its being reached by the end of 2015 or 2016.
    The UK unemployment rate fell to 7.6 percent in September from 7.7 percent in August while inflation fell to a year-low of 2.2 percent in October from 2.7 percent in September and August.
    The UK's Gross Domestic Product rose by 0.8 percent in the third quarter from the second quarter for annual growth of 1.50 percent, the third consecutive quarter of accelerating growth.

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