The Bank of England has cut its key interest rate for the first time since the global financial crisis, to a new record low of 0.25 percent, as it tries to jumpstart an economy languishing since Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

The central bank is also expanding its stimulus program to pump an additional 60 billion pounds ($79 billion) into the economy.

Thursday's decision underscored the bank's concern about an economy that has taken a sharp turn lower since the vote to leave the EU. Early indicators since the June 23 vote suggest that the economy is contracting at its sharpest rate since 2009.

The stimulus measures are a pre-emptive strike to bolster confidence after the first weeks of shock over the vote's outcome.