BoE Injects Another $41Bn into UK Asset-Purchase Plan
The Bank of England (BoE) on Thursday voted to inject another £25bn (US$41.4bn) into its asset-purchase program, bringing the total size of the program to £200bn as financial conditions remain "fragile" both across Europe and internationally. The BoE monetary policy committee also decided to keep the official bank rate paid on commercial bank reserves at 0.5% to facilitate access to credit at continued low interest rates. So far, the asset purchases helped boost asset prices and improve access to capital markets, BoE said. The need for banks to continue repairing balance sheets will likely limit the availability of credit, however, while high debt levels of will weigh on spending. BoE sees the prospect for a slow economic recovery with resources remaining under-used. "The world economy has shown signs of recovery, with a number of emerging market economies experiencing a strong rebound in growth, although global activity as a whole remains significantly depressed," BoE said. "Asset prices have risen internationally since the spring, reflecting both the gradual improvement in the economic climate and accommodative monetary policies. And banks’ funding conditions have improved, though financial conditions remain fragile." The vote to expand the asset-purchase program arrive within hours of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC)'s announcement it would keep the federal funds rate at 0 to 0.25%. The FOMC also scaled back a debt-purchase program, limiting the scale from $200bn to $175bn for purchases of agency debt from Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE). Write to Diana Golobay.