The base rate of interest has been left unchanged at 4.5 per cent.
In a widely anticipated move the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee (MPC) has decided not to lower the interest rate despite concerns about economic growth.
The last change in the base rate of interest was a 0.25 per cent cut in August last year.
According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (cebr), pressure from oil prices and wages could keep the base rate at its current level for some time.
“We do not expect to see the base rate below 4.5 per cent for most of this year,” the financial think tank said in a statement. “High figures [for wages and oil] will support interest rates remaining put for some time yet,” it said.
Mortgage lenders and union leaders have called on the committee to make a cut to boost the largely sluggish housing market and inject some life into the economy.
“The bank’s delay in cutting interest rates risks a further year of lacklustre economic growth and as a result we will see more job losses, especially in the hard-pressed manufacturing sector,” Ian Binkley of the TUC said in response to today’s announcement.
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