United Kingdom: Bank of England maintains current stance
March 21, 2012
At its 7-8 March meeting, the Bank of England (BoE) decided to leave the Bank rate unchanged at 0.50% and to continue with its asset purchase programme (quantitative easing) totalling GBP 325 billion. The decision was anticipated by market analysts following a further GBP 50 billion increase in the size of the asset purchase programme in its previous meeting. According to the minutes released on 21 March, the Committee judged that the recent data had evolved in line with its expectations and that there had been little change to the balance of risks to UK activity and inflation. Consequently, all nine members of the MPC voted in favour of leaving the Bank rate unchanged at 0.50%, while seven voted to maintain the asset purchase programme at its current size. The remaining two MPC members voted in favour of increasing the size of the asset purchase programme by a further GBP 25 billion to GBP 350 billion, which was in line with their position stated in the previous meeting.