Interest rates to be held in 2014

<p>Interest rates are not likely to change this year.</p>

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee is not expected by economics experts to amend interest rates this year.

A new poll has found that more than nine out of ten (93 per cent) of leading commentators think UK interest rates will stay at 0.5 per cent for 2014.

The research by the BBC found more than half predicted that the first rise in the second half of 2015. The Bank has previously said interest rates will be held until unemployment in the UK drops to below seven per cent. Rates have been at 0.5 per cent since March 2010.

Kate Barker, a former member of the Monetary Policy Committee, suggested that too much attention has been placed on the unemployment data.

"The real question for the economy this year is not just about interest rates. It's actually about what is going to happen to productivity, if we see productivity start to recover we could see wages pick up quite a bit without any damage to inflation – so there are more things to look at other than employment," she said.

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