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The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has held the base rate at its current level of 0.25%.

Market participants look ahead to the release of a duo of economic reports on Thursday, which may offer further guidance on the strength of US economy.

Although most economists taking part in a Reuters poll had forecast a 6-2 vote to keep rates on hold, some had thought that chief economist Andy Haldane could join those calling for an immediate hike.

In its closely watched trio of releases - its rate decision, monetary policy statement and quarterly inflation report - the United Kingdom central bank said economic growth and wages remain sluggish in the near term because of uncertainty over the U.K.'s exit from the European Union.

Leading Brexiteer John Longworth trashed the Bank of England gloomy forecast for Brexit Britain's economy.

It's Super Thursday and the Pound will undoubtedly see some volatility through the day as the markets position ahead of the BoE Monetary Policy Committee's interest rate decision, release of the BoE inflation report and monetary policy meeting minutes and BoE Governor Carney's press conference. "The chances of a 2017 rate hike now look dead and buried".

Quantitative easing was also unanimously kept unchanged at £435bn and corporate bond purchases remained at £10bn.

This may imply more interest rate rises - though few economists expect any change this year.

Despite the decision not deviating from expectations, sterling suffered sizable losses relative to majors including the dollar and the euro as the Bank lowered its forecasts for growth in the current and following years.

The assumption of a smooth Brexit will be tested. Instead, weak growth prospects, 2017 GDP has been revised down to 1.7% from 1.9%, have taken centre stage.

Consumer spending will "remain subdued throughout the next three years", the MPC said, dragging on the economy. Deutsche Bank has argued that the BoE will not tighten monetary policy until the uncertainties surrounding Brexit (and there are many) have been reduced. Inflation, which will peak at about 3 per cent in October, will slow to around 2.2 per cent in 2020, just above the bank's 2 per cent target.

This £15bn increase was due to the fact that banks had lent out more cash in the past year than expected - and bank lending is now being supported by the Bank's Term Funding Scheme.

Furthermore, Brexit talks between London and Brussels have made little progress, raising concerns that a messy departure from the bloc in 2019 could hammer the economy.

There was a slight downgrading of forecasts for wages growth which will tend to lessen the scope for a near-term increase in rates. "CPI inflation was substantially above the target, and was projected to remain above the target throughout the three-year forecast period".

The government sets the Bank an inflation target of 2% but the rate is now above that at 2.6%, with policymakers expecting it to pick up and peak around 3% in the autumn on the consumer prices index (CPI) measure.


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