The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has held base rate at 0.5 per cent for the twenty-fourth month in a row and has also held its quantitative easing programme at £200bn.
The last time base rate moved was on March 5, 2009, when it was reduced from 1 per cent to 0.5 per cent.
A programme of quantitative easing was initiated on March 5, 2009. The most recent change to the size of the programme was an increase of £25bn to a total of £200bn.
First Action Finance head of communications Jonathan Cornell says: “It was highly unlikely that the MPC 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 predicting that the earliest we will see a rise is May.”
John Charcol senior technical manager Ray Boulger says: “It is abundantly clear from the recent speeches and other comments from several MPC members that there is more disagreement among its members than ever before.
“However, with the recently revised GDP figures for not only the last quarter of 2010, but also 2010 as a whole, being even worse than the initial estimates, the MPC 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.”