Bank of England holds rates steady at 3.5%


The Bank of England (BoE) kept interest rates steady at their 48-year low of 3.5 per cent today in the face of record consumer debt and signs the economy is picking up steam.

Analysts had predicted the central bank would keep rates steady at the end of its two-day meeting only one month after it had cut borrowing costs by 25 basis points.

Strong economic data since that poll had heightened expectations that the BoE's Monetary Policy Committee would keep rates at that level for fear a cut would encourage spendthrift consumers to take on even more debt, storing up problems for future.

The BoE offered no statement with its decision; it will publish its updated quarterly inflation and growth forecasts next week.