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Interest rates held

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

The Bank of England has not changed the rate since April, when it cut the interest rate back 0.25% to 5%.

British Retail Consortium director general Stephen Robertson was supportive of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee's decision. He said: "With a difficult balancing act to achieve between keeping the inflationary threat at bay while also stimulating the economy in the midst of the current slowdown, this is the right decision for now."

Robertson added: "At our quarterly meetings with the Bank of England, the BRC and major retailers are saying weakening sales and record low consumer confidence show the downturn is deepening. To avoid turning the slowdown into a slump, as soon as conditions allow, the Bank's next rate move should be down."

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