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Bank of England votes to keep interest rates steady at 0.5 percent

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LONDON — The Bank of England policymakers have voted to keep interest rates at their record low of 0.5 percent as Governor Mark Carney unveils economic forecasts for Britain.

The quarterly inflation report Thursday comes at a time of market volatility and plummeting oil prices. The dark mood prompted Carney to say last month that "now is not yet the time" to raise rates from the level struck in March 2009.

With inflation at 0.2 percent — far below the 2 percent target rate — there's little pressure to raise rates. Some suggest the bank might consider lowering rates, following in Japan's footsteps.

Philip Shaw, economist at Investec, says it he'd be interested to know "what weight, if any, the (policymakers) places on a prospect on a reduction in the bank rate."

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