22 Apr

MPC unanimous for hold

MPC unanimous for hold

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted unanimously to hold the base rate at 0.5 per cent, it was revealed today.

Minutes of this month's meeting indicated that all nine members supported the decision, agreeing that the recent rise in consumer prices index (CPI) inflation to 3.2 per cent was just a hiatus in a downward trend that could see inflation dip below two per cent later this year.

That view has been supported by the subsequent news yesterday that the CPI rate had fallen again to 2.9 per cent.

A continued policy of maintaining a record low base rate may help keep mortgage rates down, but evidence has emerged that the likelihood that the next change - whenever it happens - will be upwards, is influencing those taking out mortgages to opt for fixed-rate deals.

Figures from mortgage broker John Charcol have revealed that 80.9 per cent of applications in March were for fixed-rate products, compared with 67.4 per cent in February and 29.1 per cent in December 2008.

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