Bank of England
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Was the UK right to set a 0.5% interest rate, five years on?

It is five years since interest rates in the UK were set at their current level of 0.5%.

Economist Kate Barker, a member of the Monetary Policy Committee at the time, explained that when the rate was first introduced output in the economy had fallen "by about 1.5%" and there had been a "collapse in world trade".

Former Chancellor Lord Lamont added that the low interest rates has "produced huge distortions", encouraging people to begin "piling into shares [and properties]".

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Wednesday 5 March.

  • 05 Mar 2014