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Bank of England maintains rates amid positive economic news

The Bank of England says the news on near-term economic activity in the U.K. has been “positive” as it maintained its main interest rate at the record low of 0.1%.

In a statement Thursday, it said that all nine members of the rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee backed the decision to keep monetary policy unchanged.

The decision had been widely predicted in financial markets following the sharp fall in new coronavirus infections over the past couple of months amid a lockdown and the speedy rollout of the U.K.'s vaccination program.

By Wednesday, more than 25 million people in the U.K. had received a first dose of vaccine, nearly half of its eligible adult population.

The lockdowns across the four nations of the U.K. are slowly being eased and there are widespread hopes of a big pick-up in economic activity in the spring as restrictions are lifted.