BoE holds base rate at 0.5pc

At the same time, the Monetary Policy Committee voted to keep quantitative easing at £375bn.

The minutes from the meeting will be published on 20 May.

Chris Williams, chief executive of Wealth Horizon, said: “On the face of it this announcement, which was widely expected, is business as usual, with market participants having already predicted neither rates nor the QE programme would be changed in May.

"However, given the quarterly inflation report is out later this week, it suggests there is also no major shift in the longer-term inflation outlook as yet, or else the MPC may have been forced to act.”

On Wednesday the bank will publish its quarterly inflation report, which will reveal its outlook for the UK economy.