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Bank Of England Holds Interest Rates, QE Remains Unchanged

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The Bank of England has held interest rates at a record low of 0.5%, they announced on Thursday.

The Bank also left the scale of its quantitative easing programme to boost the money supply unchanged at £325 billion, despite ongoing turmoil in the eurozone.

Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight said the decision to hold back on QE may have been a "very close call."

"There certainly is very real pressure on the MPC to revive QE – and sooner rather than later. Latest economic activity news has been disappointing overall, while inflation developments have been more favourable, helped by the recent overall sharp retreat in oil prices.

"Meanwhile, events in Greece and Spain are magnifying the uncertain and worrying economic outlook facing the UK."

Pressure on the Bank to implement more stimulus measures has been mounting in recent weeks after official figures showed the UK's double-dip recession was deeper than previously thought, with a 0.3% fall in the first quarter of 2012.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde recently called on the Bank to lower interest rates further to help the UK weather the eurozone debt crisis.

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