The European Central Bank as expected today kept its benchmark interest rate
of 1.25% unchanged at the meeting of the 23-member governing council in Helsinki. In
London, in response to evidence of a fragile economy, the Bank of England's
Monetary Policy Committee kept the bank's key interest rate at the 1694-year low
|Bank of Finland Head Office, Helsinki|
In Helsinki, Jean-Claude Trichet, the ECB president, may signal the near-term
course of planned interest movements and if he uses the code "strong
vigilance" on inflation, the markets will pencil in another rate hike in
At the April meeting, the central bank raised rates for the first time in almost
Annual inflation rose to 2.8% in April, compared with the target rate of "below
but close to" 2% and Eurozone producer price inflation was reported this week to
have accelerated to 6.7% in March - - the fastest since September 2008.
Banca d'Italia governor, Mario Draghi, the frontrunner to replace Trichet from
November, said last month: “Monetary policy must take into account the emergence
of inflationary tensions, pushed by rising food and energy prices.”
Trichet will begin a press conference at 1:30pm
Irish time; 2:30 pm in Helsinki:
Webcast from 1:30 pm (recording after 3 pm).
In London, the the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee today
voted to maintain the official bank rate at 0.5%. The Committee also
voted to maintain the stock of asset purchases/bond
buying commonly known as printing money,
financed by the issuance of central bank reserves at
The Committee’s latest inflation and
output projections will appear in the Inflation
Report to be published on Wednesday 11
May. The minutes of the meeting will be published at
9.30am on Wednesday 18 May.
The previous change in
rate change was a reduction
of 0.5 percentage points to 0.5% on 5 March 2009.
The programme of asset purchases financed by the
issuance of central bank reserves was initiated on 5
March 2009. The most recent change in the size of
that programme was an increase of £25bn to a
total of £200bn on 5 November 2009.