Feb 4, 9:58 AM EST

Bank of England votes to keep interest rates steady at 0.5 percent

Photo Gallery
Animal census at the London Zoo
Latest News from Britain
A UK jury has found 3 young men guilty of helping a friend travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group

British Prime Minister David Cameron has denounced a United Nations panel's finding that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been wrongfully detained by Britain and Sweden

Britain to print new laws on archival paper rather than animal skin

Hurricane-force winds and huge waves are battering Britain's coastline as the country is soaked by a winter storm

British Prime Minister David Cameron has called for a review of how prisons treat pregnant woman because of figures showing 100 babies spent time in prison last year

A former senior adviser to former UK prime minister and Conservative Party icon says Margaret Thatcher would have backed the proposed deal to keep Britain inside the European Union

Buy AP Photo Reprints
A district summary of the Beige Book
Measuring economic stress by county nationwide
Mall malaise: shoppers browse, but don't buy
Unemployment by the numbers
Family struggles with father's unemployment
Saying an affordable goodbye
Hard times hit small car dealer
Latest Economic News
Plunging oil prices have pitched Iraq into a severe financial crisis as it struggles to combat the Islamic State group, play host to millions of refugees and rebuild cities and towns ravaged by war

National Retail Federation forecasts retail industry sales to climb 3.1 in 2016 percent, slower than its annual forecast a year ago

Fourth-quarter economic growth figures, which are due on Friday, will likely show the eurozone plodding along at a quarterly tick of around 0.3-0.4 percent _ a modest rate despite favorable conditions such as cheaper oil, a lower euro and weak inflation

India says its economy grew 7.3 percent in the last three months of 2015

It's worth looking past the so-so job growth in January

For most of the slow recovery from the Great Recession, millions of Americans have huddled on the sidelines of the job market

Good news for parents: Millennials in their early 20s found work in January

The best places to look for work last month

U.S. manufacturing is shrinking, Americans are spending a little less, and goods are piling up on warehouse shelves

German factory orders declined slightly more than expected in December, dragged down by lower demand at home and in other eurozone countries

Greece's Debt Threatens to Spread
State budget
gaps map
Auto industry problems trickle down, punish Tennessee county
Women give old Derby hats a makeover in tough economy
S.C. town deals with highest unemployment in South
How mortgages were bundled and sold as securities
Tracking the $700 billion financial bailout
Tracking the year's job losses
State-by-state foreclosures since 2007
Credit crisis explained
Presidents and their economic legacies
Lexicon of the financial crisis
Americans' addiction to debt
Related Stories
Getting to the Super Bowl takes years of hard work and sweat for the players who reach the game

LONDON (AP) -- The likelihood that the Bank of England will raise interest rates in coming months receded on Thursday, after the bank cut its economic forecasts due to the slowdown in global growth and market turmoil.

The Bank of England's nine-member Monetary Policy Committee unanimously voted to keep the key interest rate at its record low of 0.5 percent. While in previous months one member had voted for an increase, the unanimous vote indicates greater concerns about the effects on the U.K. of the recent slowdown in the global economy.

"This is one of the most open economies in the world," Carney said at a press conference. "It has the leading global financial center housed in it. So international factors, the trajectory of the global economy, global financial conditions, are very important in the U.K. The deterioration in the global outlook has had an impact on our forecast."

With inflation at 0.2 percent - far below the 2 percent target rate - there's little pressure to raise rates. Some observers have suggested the bank might consider lowering rates, following in Japan's footsteps.

Carney brushed aside such questions, reiterating that rates were much more likely to be raised than cut.

"The view is that more likely than not the move is up," he said after presenting the central bank's quarterly update to economic forecasts, published alongside the policy decision and the minutes to the meeting.

Ruth Miller, U.K. economist for Capital Economics, said the central bank's report confirmed for investors that a rate hike was "on the back burner."

"The report seems to have endorsed market expectations that interest rates will stay on hold for the foreseeable future," she wrote.

In the update, the Bank of England lowered its growth predictions through 2018. The U.K. has enjoyed some of the strongest growth in the developed world, but it is being affected by the global slowdown, upheaval financial markets and uncertainty over the government's decision to hold a referendum on whether Britain should remain in the European Union.

Carney stressed that even though global financial conditions are tightening, domestic factors are mostly offsetting the troubles. He cited recent stress tests for banks, that checked their ability to deal with a more severe shock to the Chinese economy, higher spikes in market volatility and steeper falls in risky asset prices.

"It is important to recall that major UK banks are well capitalized," he said, adding that the institutions were "much less likely to amplify such stresses and are likely to be much more able to continue lending to the real economy, even if global conditions were to deteriorate further."

The bank cut its growth forecasts for the next three years to 2.2 percent in 2016, 2.4 percent in 2017 and 2.5 percent in 2018. In November, it had predicted growth at 2.5 percent, 2.7 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.

© 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.