Bank of England keeps stimulus program unchanged

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LONDON (AP) — The Bank of England has opted to refrain from pumping more money into the U.K. economy in its first meeting since new Governor Mark Carney's arrival.

The Monetary Policy Committee kept interest rates at 0.5 percent Thursday and decided against expanding its stimulus program. The bank has so far pumped 375 billion pounds ($579 billion) into Britain's economy since 2009. Under the program, the Bank of England buys bonds from financial institutions with newly created money. The hope is the extra money will boost lending, helping economic growth.

Analysts like Erik Nielsen, the UniCredit global chief economist, have warned that even if Carney wanted to hit the "monetary accelerator", he would still need to persuade fellow MPC members. Ex-Governor Mervyn King had pushed for more stimulus, but had been outvoted.

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