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Bank of England holds interest rates at 5.5%

The Bank of England has decided to keep UK interest rates unchanged at 5.5%, despite retailers calling for a cut after poor Christmas sales figures.

The Bank of England’s move to leave the interest rates unchanged adds further pressure to businesses.

British Retail Consortium director-general Kevin Hawkins said “This decision makes the need for a cut next month all the more pressing. The worst Christmas sales growth for three years shows that consumers and retailers are still feeling the effects of five previous rate rises as other bills continue to shoot up.

“While appreciating the decision was finely balanced, given the inflationary pressures facing the economy, 2008 is going to be tough for all customer-facing businesses," he added.

“The longer the Bank delays cutting rates again, the greater the risk of the economy heading in the wrong direction.”

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