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Bank of England cuts UK growth outlook as rates held

The Bank of England has said it expects economic growth to be flat in the second quarter of the year.

The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) had previously predicted growth of 0.2% over the period.

The forecast came as the nine-member committee announced it had voted unanimously to keep UK interest rates on hold, at 0.75%.

The committee said the downgrade in part reflected an easing of stock-building ahead of Brexit deadlines.

In the run-up to the end of March, when the UK had originally been expected to leave the European Union, businesses from pharmaceuticals companies to food manufacturers stockpiled goods.

They wanted to be ready in case the UK left the EU without a transition deal, which they feared could lead to delays at UK borders.

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