Interest rates unchanged at 5.25%

INTEREST rates are to remain at 5.25 per cent, the Bank of England announced today.The widely-expected decision following the bank's Monetary Policy Committee two-day meeting comes amid concerns over inflation pressure from oil prices - which reached a new record today - soaring food costs, and rising household utility bills following price hikes by energy firms.

INTEREST rates are to remain at 5.25 per cent, the Bank of England announced today.

The widely-expected decision following the bank's Monetary Policy Committee two-day meeting comes amid concerns over inflation pressure from oil prices - which reached a new record today - soaring food costs, and rising household utility bills following price hikes by energy firms.

The news will come as a disappointment to mortgage borrowers, who saw cuts in rates in December and February.

Although the MPC expects the UK economy to slow sharply during the first half of 2008, it is charged with keeping inflation pegged at 2pc. The official measure, the Consumer Prices Index, is currently above target at 2.2pc.

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