Bank of England announces £100bn stimulus to help UK economy through coronavirus pandemic

The move was in line with analysts forecasts that rates would remain unchanged and the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) would expand its bond-buying programme, or quantitative easing, by £100-£150bn. Official figures showed employers had 612,000 fewer people on their payrolls in May than in March as companies froze hiring and laid off staff. The minutes of the MPC's meeting warned: “While recent demand and output data had not been quite as negative as expected, other indicators suggested greater risks around the potential for longer lasting damage to the economy from the pandemic.” Voting against further stimulus measures Mr Haldane said that the recovery was happening “sooner and materially faster” than had been forecast in May. Data on payments suggest consumer spending started to recover in May and June, and the housing market has recently begun to pick up, the Bank said. Official figures released last week show that gross domestic product (GDP) slumped by a record 20.4 per cent in April as the country endured a full month of lockdown conditions, and has now contracted by a quarter since the Covid-19 outbreak began. The extra £100bn of stimulus announced on Thursday will be used to buy gilts - UK government debt - with purchases to be completed by the end of 2020.