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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Interest rates - no change until 2017 according to some commentators

Economic and housing market commentators have interpreted the latest raft of Bank of England data as indicating that interest rates may not, after all, rise early next year - and they may not rise at all until 2017.

In its quarterly Inflation Report, the BoE noted that even if interest rates remained unchanged for more than another year, inflation would barely rise above its 2.0 per cent target.

“The timing of the first and subsequent rate rises is therefore critical to market sentiment. Too much too soon would curtail the recovery of some markets, but if rates remain low for too long house prices could rise to a level that would become unsustainable” warns Lucian Cook, Savills head of residential research.

"The first interest rate hike from 0.50 per cent to 0.75 per cent is still most likely to happen in May 2016 - but the risks now seem to be that the increase could be later than this rather than before it. As things currently stand, an interest rate hike in the first quarter of 2016 looks unlikely" admits Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight.

"That magic first rate rise has been kicked into the long grass once again. Only a few months ago, the Bank was saying that inflation wasn't picking up because of the low oil price. Now it's emerging markets. You have to wonder what their next reason will be" says Paul Diggle of Aberdeen Asset Management Economist.

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