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The Bank of England has held base rate at 0.5% for the 75th consecutive month.  

The Monetary Policy Committee has also voted to maintain quantitative easing at £375bn.

Barry Naisbitt, chief economist at Santander, said: "In advance of this month's MPC meeting it seemed unlikely that the economic news and data over the past month would have been strong enough to support a change in view for the majority of MPC members.

"The latest indicators of economic activity have shown growth continuing, although the second estimate of GDP growth for the first quarter held the initial estimate of just 0.3% growth.

"With the inflation rate now showing falling prices relative to a year ago and the governor having recently written to the Chancellor to explain the undershoot of the inflation target, the current very low inflation backdrop will have provided scope for the MPC to continue to hold rates at their current level."

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