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Sunday 23rd of May 2010
December 10, 2009    

UK interest rates unchanged for ninth consecutive month

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by Kay Murchie

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has today elected to keep UK interest rates on hold at the record low of 0.5% for the ninth month in a row.

Furthermore there are no changes to its quantitative easing (QE) programme. Last month, the Bank announced that it would pump another £25 billion into the economy under its QE scheme.

The amount was in addition to the £175 billion of support already provided.

However, some analysts believe that the MPC may yet decide to extend the scheme in the medium-term since the economy is still under pressure.

This week, there has been disappointing economic data after it was revealed that UK industrial output showed no change in October from September - suggesting the economy made a poor start to the final quarter of the year.

Furthermore, there was disappointing news from the High Street after the British Retail Consortium (BRC)/KPMG survey revealed retail sales growth had slowed in November to an annual rate of 1.8%.

It was much less than the 3.8% annual growth seen the previous month as the figures were dragged down by falling food price inflation.

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