Bank of England holds rates at 0.5%

The Bank of England’s monetary policy committee chose to hold interest rates at 0.5 per cent at its first meeting of 2014.

Interest rates have been at a record low since March 2009, making this the 58th consecutive month in which rates have been at this level.

Kames Capital’s fixed income manager John McNeill said: “The UK economic data has continued to improve and the unemployment rate is likely to approach the 7 per cent threshold sooner than anticipated. This will compel the Bank of England to update its guidance at some point.

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“The Bank has described a rise in the rate as ‘the last line of defence’ and any short-term tightening moves are likely to take the form of macro-prudential policies. These could include more restrictive loan criteria or higher capital requirements for banks for certain types of lending.”