BoE sits on hands amid recovery

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Bank of England interest rate-setters yesterday held back from printing more emergency cash amid fresh signs of life in the economy.

The decision to leave rates at 0.5 per cent and peg quantitative easing at £375 billion was widely expected by economists, who believe the central bank is shifting its focus away from bond purchases towards schemes to support the flow of credit. Policymakers may also be keen to see what ideas Mark Carney has for stimulating growth when he replaces Sir Mervyn King as governor in July.

The flow of upbeat news continued yesterday after industrial output rose for a second month in a row in March. RBS economist Stephen Boyle said: “The monetary policy committee will also have been buoyed by recent surveys of business activity.”