The Bank of England today announced it is holding the Base Rate at 0.5% for the 12th consecutive month.

Last month's shock 1 percentage point inflation rise has got some economists predicting an earlier-than-expected rate rise, later this year rather than in 2011 (see the Inflation hike MSE News story).

The stable interest rate environment means now is a good time for savers to check what they're earning on their money and switch elsewhere, if necessary (see the Top Savings guide for the best picks).

Homeowners with mortgages linked to the Base Rate or their lender's standard variable rate (SVR) have generally been paying relatively low rates over the past year, though some building society SVRs are rising despite the static Base Rate (see the SVRs up MSE News story).

Prior to the present benign period, there were six months of falls. In October 2008, Base Rate started to tumble from the then 5% level to its current low.

Further reading/Key links

Boost your rate : Top Savings
Cut-price homeloans: Cheap Mortgage Finding