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Interest Rate freeze on the cards

04 October 2004
Experts are predicting the Bank of England will not increase its interest rate again before November.

In November 2003 the Bank of England was the first of the world's four biggest central banks to raise rates and now looks likely to take the lead on bringing an end to that cycle.

A survey of economists by Bloomberg suggests that the UK bank's rate will remain unchanged, before being raised for a sixth and final time this cycle next month.

The current rate of 4.75 per cent is expected to stay the same according to all 37 economists questioned.

Anticipation of the hold comes following the news that Britain's manufacturing sector took an unexpected slowdown during September.

That fact, along with what appears to be the end of an eight-year housing boom, has reduced pressure on the bank to increase its interest rate.

The results of the survey were also boosted by the recent comments of the bank's Monetary Policy Committee member Kate Barker.

She told Reuters news agency that the UK base rate of borrowing may have almost reached its peak.
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