Interest rates could be kept at 0.5% until at least next summer as a result of slowing economic growth in China, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr).

The economic forecasting body previously suggested that the Bank of England's nine-member Monetary Policy Committee would look to start raising interest rates in February.

But the recent wave of disappointing economic figures from China, which sent shockwaves through global stock markets earlier this month, will have an impact on when interest rates go up.

The Cebr's report said: “The global economic slowdown, driven by substantial weakness in emerging markets - most notably China - is holding back export prospects and curbing business investment.

“If the world economy continues to falter, then these weights on growth will become even bigger.”

The Cebr has forecast the UK economy to grow by 2.5% this year, 2% in 2016 and by an average of just 1.7% between 2017 and 2020. In contrast, the Office for Budget Responsibility expects the economy to grow by 2.4% this year and continue to grow at over 2% between 2016 and 2020.

Sluggish investment

For a number of years, economists have criticised the UK's economic recovery for being unbalanced - too reliant on consumer spending, not enough exports.

The Cebr said: “Household spending, not trade or investment, will account for the clear majority of the growth seen over the next five years.

“Net trade will act as a drag on growth over this timeframe as the UK continues to import far more than it exports.”

It expects the UK's trade deficit to be an "enormous" £77 billion a year between 2015 and 2020, indicating that a shift towards exports is not going to happen.

Cebr head of macroeconomics Scott Corfe said: “It’s clear that the global economy has deteriorated significantly over the past few months and there are significant downside risks to the UK’s own prospects.”