Bank of England keeps interest rates on hold

Mark-Carney-with-bank-note-in-background-700.jpgThe Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has voted to keep interest rates on hold at 0.5 per cent.

Announcing this decision, the Bank also cut its growth forecast for 2018 from 1.8 to 1.4 per cent.

Seven out of nine of the MPC members voted to keep the base rate on hold.

There was speculation earlier this year that the BoE would raise rates in May, after pushing the base rate up by 0.25 per cent in November – the first interest rate rise for more than a decade.

But a more mixed economic outlook has meant that any rate rise is not likely to occur to later this year.

Earlier comments by the Bank of England’s governor Mark Carney (pictured) had dampened market speculation of a rate rise. There has been no sharp increase in swap rates or fixed rates in the mortgage market.

Although employment remains high, the economy expanded at its slowest pace in five years in the first three months of 2018, according to the latest government data.

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