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Britain's central bank keeps interest rate historical low

(Xinhua)

10:45, September 07, 2012

LONDON, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Bank of England, Britain's central bank, said on Thursday that it decided to keep the benchmark interest rate at the historical low of 0.5 percent and held off from more quantitative easing (QE) programs.

The low interest rate has been kept for over three years by the Monetary Policy Committee under the central bank, while total QE size now stands at 375 billion pounds after a 50-billion-pound expansion last made in July.

The news came on the day when the OECD cut sharply its forecast for the British economy along with many other major economies. The OECD now predicts a -0.7 percent contraction for Britain this year, compared with a former forecast of -0.5 percent growth.

The country has been in recession for the last three quarters. The government has said to soon announce plans for supporting infrastructure and building projects in a bid to promote growth.

On the same day, European Central Bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.75 percent and unveiled details of a new bond-buying plan aimed at easing the eurozone debt crisis.

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