INTEREST rates have been held at 0.5 per cent for another month.

The Bank of England has also kept the size of its Quantitative Easing (QE) programme unchanged at £375bn.

Last week, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney exclusively told The Northern Echo interest rates could increase ahead of the next General Election.

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However, Mr Carney said he wants to see more jobs created in the North-East before he intervenes.

Asked if he would rule out a rise before next spring's election, he said: "No, absolutely not.

"We will set policy as appropriate to meet our core responsibility to meet the two per cent inflation target.

"We haven't set timing conditions on when that will be.

"We have been as explicit as we can about the nature of adjustments to interest rates, but we can't be specific.

"But we are absolutely clear that it will happen independent of the political cycle.

"We will take the decision when we need to."

Earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund said the UK would be the fastest-growing major advanced economy this year.

It predicted the UK economy would grow by 2.9 per cent in 2014 and will see growth of 2.5 per cent next year.