Britain awaits deep interest rate cut to fight recession
The Bank of England was predicted to cut British interest rates to an historic low later Thursday in response to Britain's first recession since 1991.
Economists forecast that the British central bank will slash its key lending rate by half a percentage point to a record low of 1.0 percent at the end of a two-day rate-setting meet. A decision is due at 1200 GMT.
The BoE's so-called "repo" rate -- at which it lends cash to commercial banks -- already stands at a record low 1.5 percent after the bank shaved the same amount off last month.
Shortly after the BoE decision, at 1245 GMT, the European Central Bank was set to keep its key interest rate at 2.0 percent. However, analysts predict it will cut in March to help the deteriorating eurozone economy.
British interest rates are already at the lowest point since the BoE was established in 1694.
However, since the BoE's January meeting, official data has showed that Britain sank into a painful recession in the second half of 2008 as the global financial crisis battered economies across the globe.