No change to UK interest rates

The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has again voted to maintain interest rates at their record low of 0.5%, in a move which was widely predicted by economists in light of last weeks data showing a decline in growth of the manufacturing and construction sectors.

Inflation still remains at double the Bank's target rate, at 4%, but the Bank of England continues to believe that freezing interest rates is for the short term more vital to the economy that trying to reign in inflation. Commentators have speculated that  the increased cost of borrowing that would result from an increase in interest rates would push the UK back into recession.

Chief economist at the EEF, Lee Hopkey, commented that "so long as the underlying economic recovery remains murky the case for a rate rise can't be made until it becomes clearer."

As with previous meetings of the MPC, economists will be keen to see the minutes once they are released later in the month to see if anyone has joined the three out of nine MPC members who in previous months have voted for a rate increase.

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