Bank holds interest rates and bond buying steady

The Bank of England has held interest rates at the ultra-low 0.5 per cent level for another month and left its bond-buying programme unchanged as concerns grow for UK economic growth at the end of the year.

The decision makes it the 33rd consecutive month of interest rates staying on hold, reflecting the continued weak growth in UK output and threat to growth next year.

The Bank said it would keep its monetary policy of quantitative easing unchanged at £275bn but its committee members favour extending this next year.

“We expect the Bank of England to do all it can to stimulate the economy in the New Year,” said Charles Davis, head of macroeconomics at the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

“Against the backdrop of a deteriorating growth environment and major risks around the Eurozone crisis developing into a full-blown financial crisis, our central view is that asset purchases will reach £400bn next year.”