Bank of England leaves interest rate at 0.5 per cent for 68th month in a row

Emma Haslett
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Rates are unlikely to rise until after the general election, analysts say (Source: Getty)

The Bank of England's monetary policy committee (MPC) leaft interest rates unchanged again this month, making it the 68th month in a row rates have been at a historic low of 0.5 per cent.

The Bank also left its quantitative easing programme at £375bn, even though across the pond, the Fed wound its programme to a close last month.

Although earlier in the year, it had been suggested by some that the MPC would raise rates sooner, rather than later, sentiment has changed in recent months as recovery in the Eurozone in and in Asian markets has begun to look increasingly shaky.

In the UK, wage growth and the labour market have both failed to show the strength of recovery the Bank had hoped for, with wage growth hitting an anaemic 1.2 per cent in September, according to Bank of England figures.

Although it had been widely expected in the spring, some analysts have hinted that the longed-for rise in interest rates may now not come until later in 2015.

Robert Wood, chief UK economist at Berenberg, said there is "no pressing need" to hike rates.

We look for the first hike in June 2015, after the General Election.

Our base case remains that the UK will see a mild slowing, with growth troughing at 0.6% qoq in Q4. That softer UK outlook has been triggered by events across the channel, especially in Ukraine and the subsequent impact of those on German growth. The manufacturing expansion has clearly slowed as troubles in core Europe triggered by escalating geopolitical tensions over the summer have taken their toll on internationally exposed industrial firms. We are cautious about near-term growth.

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