Bank of England holds interest rates at record low of 0.5 per cent and keeps £375bn quantitative easing programme in February

Jessica Morris
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The Bank of England has held interest rates at historic lows (Source: Getty)

There are no surprises from the Bank of England, again.

The central bank held its benchmark interest rate a record low of 0.5 per cent for the 71st month in a row. It also kept its quantitative easing programme steady at £375bn at the monetary policy committee's (MPC) February meeting.

While the UK economy has made a strong start to the year, officials remain concerned about the outlook for inflation, which is expected to fall into negative territory at some point this year.

The embattled Eurozone continues to struggle, although it could be lifted by the generous stimulus packaged unveiled by the European Central Bank earlier this year.

In January, previous dissenters Martin Weale and Ian McCafferty slipped backed over to the majority, with the MPC voting unanimously to hold interest rates at historic lows.

Policy makers were concerned that current low inflation could tip into persistent deflation, a scenario which would strangle growth.

"It was possible that risks to CPI inflation in the medium run might have, if anything, shifted to the upside, but all members were also alert to the downside risk of current low inflation becoming entrenched," the minutes said.

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