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Wealth of British households sees record growth

British households became £1.5 trillion - or 19% - richer last year thanks to rising property prices and financial assets, a report has found.

Household wealth has grown by the largest amount since records Credit: PA

The increase is the largest since records began in 2001, thanks to rising property prices and buoyant financial markets, according to the Lloyds Bank Private Banking report.

The figures show that individual households have seen their wealth increase by £126,572 on average since 2004, standing at an estimated £326,414 in 2014.

Since 2004, total wealth held by households has grown by £3.9 trillion - or 75% - to £9.1 trillion.

The value of financial assets have also boosted household wealth, with stocks and shares, bank deposits, government bonds and pensions now accounting for 61% of wealth, up from 55% in 2004.

Markus Stadlmann, chief investment officer at Lloyds Bank Private Banking, said: "Since 2004, substantial growth in the value of the housing stock and financial assets has boosted net household wealth by close to £4 trillion.

"A booming housing market up to 2007 coupled with the rising value of households' financial assets held and a growing number of older households are the key drivers."

Bank of England set to leave interest rates unchanged

Bank of England governor Mark Carney has written to the Chancellor to explain why inflation is more than 1% off its 2% target Credit: Anthony Devlin / PA Wire/PA Images

Interest rates look set to stay on hold at 0.5% on Monday when the Bank of England announces its first post-election policy decision.

Rates have been at the historic low for six years and the slide in inflation to zero has pushed back expectations for the timing of a hike into 2016.

The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will announce its latest decision tomorrow having met on the day of the poll on Thursday and on Friday.

Meanwhile minutes of the April meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) suggested a "hawkish" turn as it pointed to the possibility that inflation might recover more quickly than previously expected.

Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation was at zero in February and March - rather than turning negative as some expected - meaning it might now have avoided this risk.

The Bank has said it expects CPI, which has been under pressure amid the sliding cost of oil and the supermarket price war, to turn negative "at some point the coming months".

However the latest meeting also said another cause of low inflation - the strength of the pound making imports cheaper - may have been feeding through to CPI more quickly than expected - meaning that a bounce-back could also come sooner.

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Parties trade barbs as IFS say none provide budget details

The economy remains one of people's principle concerns in the upcoming election and an independent think-tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said voters are not being well served by the parties.

The IFS said published spending plans had left people "somewhat in the dark."

The analysis came as Labour accused the Conservatives of planning the biggest cuts since the war and the Tories saying Labour, in alliance with the SNP, would leave everyone worse off.

ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports.

PM: Our budget plan is a continuation of current policy

David Cameron Credit: TOBY MELVILLE/WPA Rota/Press Association Images

On a campaign visit to Cornwall, Prime Minister David Cameron said:

Our plan is a continuation of what we have done over the last five years, when we have turned the country around, got the deficit down, put the country back to work and are seeing a successful economy.

– David Cameron

SNP: We will borrow more as it is 'what the public want'

SNP: We will need more borrowing as 'it's what public want' Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Campaigning in Edinburgh, Scotland's Deputy First Minister John Swinney has responded to the IFS analysis of the parties' spending proposals and criticised George Osborne for using the figures during campaigning.

I accept the analysis of the IFS that the SNP's proposal will result in more borrowing than is proposed by the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties on the proposition that we've put forward of increasing public spending by half a percent in real terms.

I accept that because that's what the public are calling out for. They're fed up with austerity and they want a clear voice to say austerity has got to come to an end and the investment in our public services and our public infrastructure has got to recommence.

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