Bank of England policymakers unanimous in keeping interest rates low

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LONDON – Policymakers at the Bank of England voted unanimously at their last meeting to keep the key interest rate at the record low of 0.5 per cent, buoyed by a strengthening economy and subdued inflation.

Minutes published Wednesday for the February meeting showed policymakers were also united in opting to refrain from pumping more money into the economy and to broaden their view as to what might prompt them to raise rates.

Until recently, the bank said its key interest rate would remain on hold until joblessness fell to 7 per cent. But as that unemployment threshold neared, Mark Carney, the governor, decided to update the so-called forward guidance to consider wage growth and productivity in the calculation.

Figures released Wednesday showed unemployment at 7.2 per cent for the quarter ending in December.

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