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Interest rate rises to 3.75%

As widely expected, the Bank of England's rate-setting committee has raised the base lending rate by a quarter of one percentage point to 3.75% - the first such rise in almost four years.

The decision will raise repayments on the average mortgage of £60,000 by about £9 a month. It is likely also to impact immediately on car manufacturers' finance-related promotions as well as on consumer demand.

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