View more on these topics

British rates on hold

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has voted to hold interest rates at 0.5%. The last change was a half-point reduction on March 5.

In a release, the committee outlined problems still facing the British economy, including depressed consumer confidence, rising unemployment and a sharp drop in output in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Consumer price index (CPI) inflation declined to 3% in January, and the depreciation of the pound is continuing to add to importee cost pressures, the committee says. Inflation is likely to fall below the government’s 2% target by the second half of this year.

The MPC has also voted to continue with the £75 billion asset purchase scheme announced at its last meeting. It has spent £26 billion on the scheme since March and it will be another two months before it is completed.

The money will be used to buy private sector assets with the aim of improving the functioning of corporate credit markets. The Bank of England will also buy medium and long-maturity gilts, which will form most of its purchases by value over the next three months.

Related Articles:
Rates hit 0.5%


Asia Pacific and Gem strongest in March

Lipper’s monthly retail fund review has identified the Asia Pacific excluding Japan and Global Emerging Markets (Gem) as the best performing Investment Management Association (IMA) sectors in March.

Fed minutes reveal downbeat outlook

Yesterday’s publication of the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting held on March 17-18 reveals a downbeat short-term outlook for the American economy.As well as revising down its projections for real GDP growth in the second half of 2009 and 2010, most participants viewed downside risks as predominating in the short-term. The minutes […]

Scheme pays explained

By Fiona Hanrahan, senior product insight and technical support analyst We’ve received lots of queries on scheme pays and when it can be used. This article explains how it works and the conditions which apply. What is ‘scheme pays’? If an individual exceeds the annual allowance (AA) and an AA tax charge is due, they […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment