LONDON, June 20 (UPI) -- The Bank of England said Wednesday that a gross domestic product increase of 0.5 percent in Germany offset troubles in Italy and Spain in the first quarter.
In minutes describing its June 7 policy meeting, the BOE said that the GDP of the eurozone "was estimated to have been unchanged in the first quarter."
"Within that," the bank's meeting minutes said, "GDP had increased by 0.5 percent in Germany, which had been more than accounted for by the strength of net trade. By contrast, there had been further falls in output in Spain and Italy."
The BOE in its policy meeting earlier in the month left its monetary policies intact, leaving its key lending rate at 0.5 percent and continuing with a $437 billion asset purchasing program.
The bank's lending rate has remained at this historic low for the past 39 months.
The BOE also pointed out the delicate political situation in Europe, which has been seriously disrupted by a sovereign debt crisis that has affected the entire eurozone with Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain requiring international aid to keep from going into default.
"It was highly probably that business sentiment had been affected by the continuing financial and political tensions within the euro area," the BOE minutes said.
"Perceptions of the likelihood of a disorderly outcome had risen again," the bank noted.
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