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Bank of England holds key rate at 0.5 percent

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October 4, 2012 07:29 AM EST | AP

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LONDON — The Bank of England has held its key lending rate at the all-time low of 0.5 percent for the 44th month and decided not to increase its economic stimulus program of bond purchases.

Thursday's announcement by the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee was widely expected.

Analysts believe there will be no moves to increase the amount of bond purchases – known as quantitative easing – before November, when the most recent commitment of 50 billion pounds ($80 billion) is spent. The total investment in quantitative easing is now 375 billion pounds.

Bank governor Mervyn King said last week that there were "a few signs" of recovery in Britain's economy, while official figures revised second-quarter gross domestic product upward to a better-than-feared decline of 0.4 percent.