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Base rate held at 0.5%

Base rate held at 0.5%

Category: Economy

Updated: 10/09/2009
First Published: 10/09/2009

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This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has voted to maintain the official bank base rate of interest at 0.5% for the sixth consecutive month.

With many economic indicators over the past month suggesting an end to the recession could be close, the decision to keep the status quo comes as little surprise.

Meanwhile, the programme of quantitative easing (QE) designed to increase the flow of money through the economy has also been maintained at its previous level of £175 billion.

The Committee said it expects the programme to take another two months to complete, although by confirming its scale will be kept under review, future changes have not been ruled out.

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI) said the decision underlined the issues facing UK consumers.

"Banks are still constrained in their ability to lend to consumers and small businesses," commented Robert Sinclair, director of the AMI. "First time buyers and those on higher loan to value mortgages are still in very difficult positions and more needs to be done to assist those groups who will be crucial in ensuring we speed the economic recovery."

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