Bank of England holds interest rate at 0.50%

The nine-member Monetary Policy Committee also maintained the central bank's level of cash stimulus pumping around the British economy at £375 billion ($577 billion, 522 billion euros) (AFP Photo/Carl Court)

London (AFP) - The Bank of England on Thursday said it had voted to leave its main interest rate at a record-low 0.50 percent in the face of low inflation and steady growth.

The nine-member Monetary Policy Committee also maintained the central bank's level of cash stimulus pumping around the British economy at £375 billion ($577 billion, 522 billion euros).

Reasons behind the widely-expected decisions will be contained in minutes of the regular policy meeting that are due for release on July 22.

"The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee at its meeting on 8 July voted to maintain Bank Rate at 0.5 percent," the BoE said in a brief statement on Thursday.

"The Committee also voted to maintain the stock of purchased assets financed by the issuance of central bank reserves at £375 billion."

Britain's economy grew by more than expected in the first quarter but output was still lower compared with the end of last year, recent official data showed.

Gross domestic product expanded by 0.4 percent between January and March -- up from an earlier official estimate of 0.3 percent.

The government on Wednesday forecast that Britain's economy was expected to grow by 2.4 percent this year, down from a prior estimate of 2.5 percent.

Britain's annual inflation rate meanwhile rebounded in May after briefly entering negative territory the previous month.