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Bank Charges: Interest rates held at 0.5%

The Bank of England has decided to hold interest rates at their historically low level of 0.5 per cent, it has been revealed.

The Bank's rate-setting body, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), voted to freeze the base rate for the 20th consecutive month.

It also opted against pumping more money into the UK economy via the government's quantitative easing programme.

Both decisions were largely expected by economists, with stronger-than-expected growth allowing the MPC to maintain its fiscal policy. In the third quarter of the year, gross domestic product (GDP) growth hit 0.8 per cent, according to official figures.

David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, claimed interest rates should be frozen for the foreseeable future.

He said: "Despite positive economic news recently, risks of a setback will inevitably increase in the first half of 2011.

"While we support the painful fiscal measures needed to stabilise Britain's public finances, every effort must be made to minimise the danger of a downturn."

Posted by John Fieldman

Having worked in the city for 19 years, John's main focus is interest rates and corporate financeADNFCR-2776-ID-800283208-ADNFCR

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