Bank of England holds rates at 0.5%, QE unchanged
London (May 8) The Bank of England on Thursday held the size of its bond-buying program steady and left its key lending rate at a record low of 0.5%, where it has stood since March 2009. The central bank's Monetary Policy Committee maintained its asset purchases, the centerpiece of its quantitative-easing strategy, at 375 billion pounds ($636 billion). The minutes from the two-day May meeting will be published on May 21. Analysts widely expected the central bank to stand pat at the meeting, the first since the unemployment rate fell below the 7% level the bank set as a threshold for assessing a rate increase. Consumer price inflation is running below the BOE's target of 2%.