Bank of England keeps interest rates at record low
Bank of England, Britain's central bank, said that it would maintain interest rates at record low of 0.1 percent and warned the economic outlook remains unusually uncertain amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
Apart from keeping the interest rates unchanged, the bank also maintained its quantitative easing program at 895 billion pounds (about 1,250.6 billion U.S. dollars).
"At its meeting ending on 17 March 2021, the committee judged that the existing stance of monetary policy remains appropriate," a minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting said.
While maintaining its earlier view that Britain's gross domestic product (GDP) was projected to recover strongly over 2021 toward pre-COVID levels due to the speedy vaccination rollout, the bank struck a cautious tone for the medium-term outlook.
"The outlook for the economy, and particularly the relative movement in demand and supply during the recovery from the pandemic, remains unusually uncertain," it said.
"It continues to depend on the evolution of the pandemic, measures taken to protect public health, and how households, businesses and financial markets respond to these developments," it added.
"Since the MPC's previous meeting, the news on near-term economic activity had been positive, although the extent to which that news changed the medium-term outlook was less clear," said the minutes.
But different MPC members placed "different weights on the balance of risks around the outlook", the minutes added.
Britain's GDP fell by 2.9 percent monthly in January, less weak than expected, but still leaves the economy around 10 percent below its pre-pandemic level.
To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.