The benchmark interest rate has been kept at a record low for the past six years. The previous change in Bank Rate was a reduction of 0.5 percentage points to 0.5 percent on 5 March 2009. A programme of asset purchases financed by the issuance of central bank reserves was also initiated on 5 March 2009.
Although markets expect the central bank to raise rates this year, inflation is well below the 2 percent target and policymakers believe it is more likely than not it will fall below zero in the coming months.
In January, annual inflation rate touched a record low 0.3 percent due to falling motor fuel prices. Also, house prices fell 0.3 percent between January and February, according to Halifax data.