May 7, 2020 / 9:23 AM / 23 days ago

BoE waiting to see how much lockdown lifted before QE decision: Bailey

FILE PHOTO: Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey poses for a photograph on the first day of his new role at the Central Bank in London, Britain March 16, 2020. Tolga Akmen/Pool via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - The Bank of England will consider what it needs to do with its 645 billion pound ($796 billion) bond-buying programme in June when it will have more clarity on how the government intends to lift its coronavirus lockdown, Governor Andrew Bailey said.

It was appropriate that the BoE continues with its “aggressive” pace of bond-buying for now, Bailey said.

Economists mostly expect the BoE to expand its quantitative easing programme at its June meeting before it uses up its most recent 200 billion-pound increase in firepower, something it is on course to do in July.

“You can see, both from what we said in March and what we said today, that there is clearly a commitment and a determination to take action should we need to do so,” Bailey told reporters after the BoE’s May monetary policy meeting.

“I would really leave that strong message with you.”

He said the BoE was waiting to see how much more information it will get over the next few weeks about a lifting of the government’s lockdown and how that would feed into the economy and the government’s borrowing needs.

“It seemed to us that it was sensible ... to see what that the information adds up to in the next few weeks,” Bailey said, referring to this month’s discussions.

Reporting by William Schomberg, editing by David Milliken

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