The Bank of England has lowered the bank rate by 25 basis points to 5.5%, citing the market's credit crunch."Although output in the United Kingdom has expanded at a brisk pace for the past two years, there are now signs that growth has begun to slow," the BoE's monetary policy committee said, noting that the crunch poses "downside risks to the outlook for both output and inflation further ahead." The London-based Council of Mortgage Lenders said the move should provide relief for some of its members who have been having trouble meeting consumer demand due to the shortage of funding resources.

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