Retailers relieved as Bank of England keeps rate at 5.25%
The Bank of England has voted to leave interest rates unchanged at 5.25 per cent for the second month in a row.

The British Retail Consortium said retailers would be relieved that another interest rate would not spoil the eagerly anticipated Easter lift, but it remains nervous that rates will rise next month. It is widely forecast that they will rise to 5.5 per cent in May.

BRC director-general Kevin Hawkins said: 'Customers' willingness to spend was already on the slide as recent rate rises have produced the weakest disposable income growth for 25 years.

'Overwhelmingly, inflationary pressure is coming from rising energy, transport and mortgage costs, not shop prices. Another rise would have done little to combat the real causes of inflation.'

The UK has raised interest rates by a quarter point three times since last summer - in August, November and January.