The Bank of England is expected to breach the 315-year-old nadir for interest rates by cutting its key rate by half a percentage point to 1.5% on Thursday.

Since its creation in 1694, the Bank’s rate has never been below the current level of 2%. It cut rates by a full point in December to that level for the first time since 1951, after which the economic outlook deteriorated even further.

A Thomson Reuters poll of 61 economists found 41 expected a half-point cut this week, although a further 18 thought the cut could be three-quarters or a full percentage point. The Bank’s monetary policy committee begins two days of deliberations tomorrow.

Financial Times