Consumers 'not worried' by rate rises


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UK consumers have taken a recent rise in the Base Rate in their stride - as they knew it was coming, a new study has revealed.

The Consumer Barometer, carried out by Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets, shows that the majority of UK home owners shouldn't be caught off guard by rising mortgage repayments - as they realised that they would have to shell out more on paying back the interest on their loans before the Base Rate rise was announced.

And UK consumers expect interest rates to rise still further in the future.

Around 80 per cent of the respondents to the Consumer Barometer expected interest rates to be higher by this time next year - with only four per cent saying that they will be lowered.

"Pretty much everyone expected the base rate to rise last week," said Trevor Williams, chief economist at Lloyds TSB markets.

"For consumers, forewarned is forearmed and the impact is likely to be much less than if the rise came out of the blue. With high price expectations and the recent rate rise we're likely to see some slowdown in consumer spending but with job security remaining strong, the impact won't be drastic."

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