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Interest rates held at 5%

The Bank of England has held interest rates at 5%.

The bank's Monetary Policy Committee voted to maintain the rate at its meeting this morning. The decision had been widely expected although there had been calls for a further cut, following increasing food and energy prices.

The bank lowered the interest rate by 0.25% to 5% in April.

The British Retail Consortium welcomed the decision. Director general Stephen Robertson said: "Struggling customers and retailers certainly need a boost but, with rising oil and commodity prices stoking inflation to well above the 2% target, leaving rates unchanged was the wise option."

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