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No change to base rate or QE

The Bank of England’s monetary policy committee has voted to keep base rate at a record-low 0.5 per cent for the 37th consecutive month and to keep its programme of quantitative easing at £325bn.

Base rate was cut to 0.5 per cent in March 2009, on the same day the BoE initiated a programme of QE worth £75bn.

In February, the BoE voted to increase the size of its QE programme by £50bn to £325bn. The latest round of QE will complete next month.

The minutes from last month’s MPC minutes show it was split 7-2 over whether to increase the size of its quantitative easing programme beyond its current £325bn level. MPC members David Miles and Adam Posen voted to increase the size of the programme by £25bn to £350bn.

Legal & General Mortgage Club managing director Ben Thompson says: “There has been a lot of good news over recent months however the economy is far from out of the woods and additionally there are overseas problems, not to mention an increasing oil price that could yet combine to slow things down again.

“Stimulus will not be withdrawn or deferred unless there are strong and clear signs of a sustained and robust UK recovery. That decision wil come into sharper focus next month.”

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