The Bank of England has raised interest rates for the first time in a decade to contain an increase in inflation stoked by the Brexit vote, in what is otherwise a moment of high uncertainty for the economy. In a statement Thursday, the bank said it had lifted its benchmark rate, which affects the cost of loans and savings rates in the wider economy, to 0.50% from the record low of 0.25%.
Bank of England is expected to reverse emergency action taken following the Brexit referendum, when it cut rates from 0.5% to 0.25% to avert a recession. While a slump has not materialized, the British economy appears in worse health than most other major countries, with potential to be blown further off course by faltering talks to leave the EU.
The Bank of England (BOE) held interest rates at the record low level of 0.25% and maintained asset purchases at £435 billion on Thursday. The decision, which was made by an 8-1 majority, had been almost unanimously anticipated by central bank watchers with many expecting the BOE to choose caution until more clarity emerges on the Brexit process and the U.K. economy's capacity to manage outside of the European Union.
The Bank of England voted unanimously on Thursday to keep the UK's main interest rate at a record low of 0.25%, and anticipated that the next rate move could be in either direction. The last change was a rate cut in August, in the wake of the UK's vote to leave the EU.
The Bank of England has raised its near-term growth and inflation forecasts on Thursday following the slide in sterling seen since the U.K.'s decision to leave the European Union. The bank decided Thursday to keep interest rates at the record low level of 0.25% and maintan its quantitative easing (QE) purchase targets at up to £10 billion for corporate bonds and £435 billion for U.K. government bonds.
The Bank of England said on Thursday it was still likely to cut interest rates to just above zero later this year, even though the initial Brexit hit to Britain's economy would be less severe than it expected only last month. The Bank said its nine rate-setters were unanimous in their decision to keep Bank Rate at its new record low of 0.25%, the lowest in the BoE's 322-year history.
UK interest rates have been held at 0.5% again by the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). Members voted 8-1 to keep rates on hold - the first time for months the decision has not been unanimous, with Ian McCafferty voting for an increase.
UK interest rates have been kept unchanged again by the Bank of England, meaning they have now been at their record low of 0.5% for six years. Rates were first cut to 0.5% in March 2009 as the Bank sought to lift economic growth amid the credit crunch.
UK interest rates have been held at their record low of 0.5% for another month by the Bank of England. On Thursday the Bank also kept the size of its bond-buying stimulus program unaltered at £375bn. No changes had been expected to either rates or the bond-buying measure, despite recent evidence that the UK economy is continuing to recover.
Six members of the Bank of England’s nine-strong Monetary Policy Committee, including Governor Mervyn King, continued to oppose the minority campaign for an immediate rise in benchmark UK interest rates at the MPC’s meeting two weeks ago, minutes revealed Wednesday.