Bank of England leaves key interest rate at record low amid global growth concerns

Economic Indicators Associated Press

The Bank of England left its key interest rate at a record low Thursday, as policymakers saw no need to put the brakes on the U.K. economy amid slowing growth in Asia and risks from the Greek debt crisis.

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Policymakers left the rate at 0.5 percent for a 78th consecutive month and refrained from pumping more money into the economy. There is little pressure to raise rates with inflation at zero.

But Governor Mark Carney has signaled the bank is "moving closer" to a rate increase as economic growth remains among the fastest among advanced economies.

The decision came on what has been dubbed "Super Thursday," when the bank for the first time releases together the results of the rate-setting meeting, minutes of the discussions and the quarterly inflation forecast.

In the past, the minutes of the meeting about interest rate decisions were released two weeks afterward.

However, the bank has decided to release the data all at once in an effort to be more transparent. When Carney took over two years ago, he endeavored to make the bank's decisions more clear with a "forward guidance" policy that was meant to telegraph the thinking of those who set interest rates.

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But Carney struggled to make his thinking understood by the public — at one point he was castigated as being an "unreliable boyfriend" for his conflicting messages. "Forward guidance" was quietly dropped, but the wish for transparency remained.

The "Super Thursday" decision was being closely watched in part to see whether the Monetary Policy Committee was swinging toward an interest rate rise. Policymakers voted 8-1 to keep interest rates the same.