By Jonathan Davies

The Bank of England has kept interest rates at the record low of 0.5% for another month.

Last month's decision meant interest rates had been at 0.5% for six years.

Speculation over when interest rates would go up has been strong over the past year. But news of zero inflation seems to have pushed back any increase in rates.

David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, welcomed the decision. He said: "While official interest rates are very low, the fall in inflation over the past year has effectively raised interest rates in real terms, for both businesses and consumers.

"The UK recovery is on course, but remains fragile and should not be unsettled by an unnecessary interest rate rise. Business confidence will be strengthened if the MPC states clearly that official interest rates are likely to stay at their low levels for at least another 12 months."