Bank of England policymakers noted “encouraging” early signs from the unprecedented £75 billion quantitative easing programme, minutes of the last interest rate meeting showed yesterday.
But the Bank’s nine-strong Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) said there remained a “high degree of uncertainty” over the scale of the asset purchases needed.
Minutes of the April meeting showed the MPC voted unanimously to stick to the £75 billion plan to boost money supply and to leave interest rates unchanged at their historic low of 0.5 per cent.
The “no change” decision saw rate setters pause for breath after six months of dramatic cuts from the MPC to tackle a deepening recession.
The Bank said it was encouraged by the initial impact of the £26.5 billion of assets bought so far under the quantitative easing (QE) scheme, designed to create new money and increase the flow of lending.
Yields on Government gilts had fallen significantly, although some of this had already been reversed and the MPC also warned it was possible the effect would only last as long as the asset buying programme, due to take a further two months to complete.
MPC members agreed to review the size and scale of its asset purchases on a monthly basis, which could see it increase or reduce the programme.
But the committee said: “Though there remained a high degree of uncertainty over the appropriate scale of asset purchases necessary to keep inflation at target in the medium term, the committee agreed there had been no material change in the conditions that had led them to the decision last month on the necessary scale and timing of asset purchases that was required.”