By Marcus Leach

Despite recent talks of possible negative interest rates the Bank of England today (Thursday) opted against altering the current interest rate.

The Monetary Policy Committee's decision sees the interest rate remain at 0.5%, which means it has been at this historic low for four years.

The MPC also rejected calls to inject further stimulus into the economy by the way of quantitative easing.

There had been calls for the Bank to do more to support the economy and expand its quantitative easing programme, especially after BoE governor Sir Mervyn King voted to increase the QE programme at the MPC's last meeting.

He was among three MPC members who backed a £25bn increase in QE to £400bn, but was outvoted.

"A combination of mixed economic data and the MPC's recent tilt in a more dovish direction is likely to have made this decision a close call," said Stephen Gifford, the director of economics at the CBI, the business lobby group.

"With only a modest pick-up in growth expected, the possibility of further QE will remain a live issue."

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