Rates held at 0.5%

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has held the base rate at 0.5% for August and has also held its quantitative easing programme at £200 billon.

This is the 17th month in a row where the base rate has been held at its all-time low. Last month two of the nine MPC members called for a rate increase.

Ben Thompson, the director of mortgages at Legal & General, says: “Things are changing almost one month to the next during 2010 with inflation, growth and output all being watched very closely. The problem is that the upside and downside risks are duking it out for priority at the moment. Governor Mervyn King recently said that he has his foot firmly on the money accelerator. Let’s just hope that he knows what his braking distance is.”