The interest rate has been held at 0.5 per cent by the Bank of England.

This is the second month in a row that the Bank of England has held the interest rate after it consecutively cut the rate to a record low over a six-month period to try and stimulate the economy.

Retailers have welcomed the cuts although many consumers are reported to be saving money if their mortgages have gone down rather than spending it.

Yesterday Next chief executive Simon Wolfson said the economy was bottoming out but does not expect recovery before the end of this year.