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 to £150bn. “We’re slowing from warp speed to something that by any historical standards still looks fast,” the Bank's Governor, Andrew Bailey, told reporters in a press conference after the decision. The Bank warned last month that the UK economy would contract by as much as 30 per cent in the first half of the year - which would be easily the worst performance on modern record. 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.