INTEREST RATES are to remain unchanged at 4.75%, the Bank of England‘s Monetary Policy Committee announced on Thursday (Oct 7).

The Bank last raised rates in August, following five rises since November last year, but today‘s decision to hold rates was widely expected as manufacturing output slowed and a booming property market showed signs of cooling.

Tim Porter, agriculture director at Lloyds TSB, said stability in interest rates and the cost of borrowing was welcome news for agriculture, but it was still not clear whether further rises were likely.

“Whilst certain determining factors point towards favourable conditions for lower interest rates, including weaker growth in the US and global economy, people would be wise to bear in mind that this does not necessarily signal a base rate cut in the near future,” said Mr Porter.

The decision to hold rates was helpful news for farmers, given weak grain values and static milk prices, he added.