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Bank of England Holds Rates at 0.5%

LONDON -- The Bank of England says it is holding interest rates steady at a record low of 0.5% for the 18th consecutive month amid growing fears about a double-dip recession.

The British central bank also kept its 200 billion pound ($308 billion) asset-purchase program on hold in Thursday's announcement. Still, many economists believe it may soon restart the so-called quantitative easing program to boost the money supply and help the economy.

Worries about the stuttering economic recovery are outweighing concerns about rising inflation and the bank is expected to keep rates at the current level well into next year.

The British economy grew 1.2% in the three months to June, but recent data has suggested a significant slowdown in growth in the third quarter.

Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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