THE Bank of England has held UK interest rates at a historic low of 0.5 per cent for another month.

The size of the Bank's economic stimulus programme - quantitative easing - was also unchanged at £375bn.

Debate over the timing of a rate rise has intensified, with Bank governor Mark Carney hinting recently that it could come by the end of this year.

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UK interest rates have been at 0.5 per cent for five years. However, in June, Mr Carney said that interest rates could start to rise sooner than financial markets expected.

On a visit to the region in April Mr Carney told The Northern Echo that he had not ruled out increasing rates before next year's General Election.