Date:8 August 2008 I Comments: 2 I Views:34,535

There are numerous places on the internet where historical Base Rate information can be found but I recently discovered a page on a site that shows the Bank of England base rate trends since 1997 in a nice and simple rate graph.

Did you know in 1998 rates were as high as 7.5%?

…and in 2002 rates stayed constant at 4% for the whole year?

…and the lowest rate recorded since 1997 was 3.5% for a few months in the summer of 2003?

Well, neither did I, until I found the following page:

View Historical Base Rate Trends

The only odd thing about it is the timeline runs from right to left! Apart from that it’s so easy to see the trends of the past and how rates have changed over the last 10.5 years.

And if that wasn’t enough you can even download a spreadsheet showing base rate trends since 1964!

Looking back on the spreadsheet we’ve actually had a pretty good stable run of things and all this moaning about rates now being high and all the doom and gloom can be put in perspective and we really should stop whinging!!

At the start of 1977 the rate was a staggering 14%. It gradually dropped over the year to a low of 5.5% in October but by October 1978 it was all the way back up to 12.5%.

Between July and October when the rate was just 3.5% it was actually the lowest it had been since 1955!! 

What was the rate when you were born? For me it was 12.5%!

Category: General


  1. That is interesting chart to see, you forget the up and downturns in interest rates, so the prediction that it will drop to 3% makes it seem really low.

  2. The Bank of England (through their website) actually make available a PDF with rates since their foundation in the late 17th Century. I’ve put all this onto an interactive graph at . There’s not really much change in rates until the middle of the 19th Century, at which point rates do start going up and down a bit.