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Bank Rate unch at 0.1%, QE stock unch at combined GBP 895bn;
BOE: 8-1 majority for unchanged QE; Haldane against
BOE: UK GDP expected to fall 1.5% in Q1 2021
BOE: UK GDP to recover to pre-covid level by end of 2021
BOE: Labour market slack higher than implied by jobless rate
BOE sees CPI at 2.0% in medium term
The BOE voted unanimously to leave the Bank Rate and the stock of corporate bond purchases unchanged in the May meeting. They voted by a majority of 8-1 to leave the stock of gov. bond purchases unchanged, with Andy Haldane voting against it. The MPC expects the UK economy to contract by 1.5% in Q1 2021 and projects growth to rise sharply in Q2 before the pre-crisis level is reached by the end of the year. These forecasts are slightly better than the Feb report projected. After 2021 GDP is likely to be boosted by consumer spending and a rundown of household savings. Inflation is seen above target towards the end of 2021, due to developments of energy prices. The BOE expects CPI to return to target at 2.0% in the medium term. The outlook for the economy remains uncertain and depends on the evolution of the pandemic. The BOE further states that it "does not intend to tighten monetary policy at least until there is clear evidence that significant progress is being made in eliminating spare capacity and achieving the 2% inflation target sustainably".