The Bank of England avoids 'last resort' negative rates and warns the UK economy will not recover to pre-pandemic levels until late 2021

Get the Full StoryLeon Neal Getty

Britain's central bank avoided 'last resort' negative interest rates and held its benchmark borrowing rate unchanged at a record low of 0.1 on Thursday.

Policymakers said UK economic growth is unlikely to recover to pre-pandemic levels until late 2021, while unemployment could take even longer to decline.

The Bank of England revised its full-year 2020 GDP forecast to -9.5 from a prior prediction of -14 .

"Investors will take heart from the fact that the bank now expects the drop in GDP this year to be less than initially feared," said a director at investment platform EQi.

Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Bank of England said on Thursday that policymakers do not expect a swift economic rebound to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon, and held interest rates unchanged.

Members of the bank's Monetary Policy Committee MPC voted unanimously to maintain the bank rate at 0.1 , and held its target for asset purchases at 745 billion 980 billion . See the rest of the story at Business InsiderNOW WATCH: A cleaning expert reveals her 3-step method for cleaning your entire home quicklySee Also:Black-owned businesses nearly twice as likely to close amid the coronavirus pandemic, New York Fed study findsThe 600 boosted unemployment benefit just expired. Here's how much unemployment checks could drop in your state under the GOP's less-generous replacement planUS GDP report showed 'how big of a hole we have to dig ourselves out of': Here's what 5 economists are talking about following the record output slumpSEE ALSO: Oil jumps 4 to the highest in 5 months after the EIA reports an inventory drop