Bank Of England Votes 8-1 To Hold Key Rate At 0.25%

By Carla Mozee Markets MarketWatch Pulse

The Bank of England on Thursday left its key interest rate at a record low 0.25%, meeting widely held expectations. The vote to hold the rate steady was 8-1, with board member Kristen Forbes backing a rate increase. The central bank left unchanged the size of its asset purchase program at �435 billion ($533 billion) and its corporate-bond purchase program at �10 billion. The central bank expects U.K. inflation to rise above 2% in the "next few months," it said in a statement. Headline inflation hit 1.8% in January, moving closer to the bank's target of 2%. The pound jumped to $1.2330 from $1.2269 ahead of the decision. Sterling bought $1.2291 late Wednesday in New York.

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