06 June 2013 12:00 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The Bank of England (BoE) on Thursday left its key interest rate unchanged at 0.5% and maintained quantitative easing (QE) levels at £375bn (€441bn, $577bn), with strengthening economic data leaving policymakers less likely to inject new money into the economy.
Following reports from the Office for National Statistics that the UK’s first-quarter GDP had expanded by 0.3% quarter on quarter and 0.6% year on year, data from analyst Markit revealed that the UK’s construction sector returned to growth in May.
Data for the country’s crucial construction sector showed that new business grew at its fastest rate in over three years during May, leading Markit chief economist Chris Williamson to predict a 0.5% expansion for the country’s second-quarter GDP, provided growth remains strong in June.
“The UK economy has moved up a gear with all cylinders now firing. For the first time in a year, manufacturing, services and construction sectors are all now reporting higher levels of activity,” he said in a note on 5 June.
The Bank of England’s current governor, Mervyn King, is set to retire at the end of this month. King, who has voted in every Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting since the BoE became independent in 1997, will be replaced by Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank of Canada.
(€1 = £0.85, $1 = £0.65, $1 = €0.76)
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