The Bank of England bank rate has been held at 0.5 per cent for the 24th month in a row and quantitative easing stays at £200bn.
The last rate change was on March 5, 2009, when it was reduced from 1 per cent to 0.5 per cent.
On the same day, the Bank of England initiated a £75bn QE programme. The most recent change to the size of the programme, on November 5, 2009, was an increase of £25bn, bringing the total to £200bn.
First Action Finance head of communications Jonathan Cornell says: “It was highly unlikely that the monetary policy committee was going to do anything other than keep the base rate on hold. However, we are getting closer and closer to an increase, with most experts predic- ting that the earliest we will see a rise is May.”
John Charcol senior technical manager Ray Boulger says: “The monetary policy committee members who have been calling for a rate increase need to give even more consideration to how much impact such a move would have on an economy that is, at best, stagnating.”