Bank holds base rate at 0.50%

Thursday, 6th September, 2012

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has held the base rate today at 0.50% for the 42nd month in a row with no further extension to quantitative easing.

The base rate has been at 0.50% since March 2009 and its QE programme remains at £375bn, as the Bank works through £50bn of asset purchases announced in July.

Capital Economics says the decision may partly have reflected a desire to wait to see what comes out of today’s European Central Bank meeting.

ECB chief Mario Draghi is understood to be attempting to heal divisions among policymakers and deliver on his promise to save the euro.

Investors want to hear how the ECB will start a new bond-buying programme to help bring down the borrowing costs of Spain and Italy after disagreements between bank policymakers over the plan were played out in public last week.

But Capital Economics says it still expects more asset purchases to be announced in November and thinks that the MPC will cut interest rates further too.