The pound remains steady ahead as new economic data was released today on the national gross domestic product (gdp).

This morning the dollar stood at 1.7484 against the pound, while the euro reached 1.4694 against sterling.

UK gdp rose by 0.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2005, with gdp up by 1.8 per cent in comparison to the same period in 2004.

Construction output growth was put at 0.3 per cent, while household expenditure rose by 0.7 per cent.

Earlier this week sterling dipped on speculation that the Bank of England's rate-setting monetary policy committee (MPC) would not be changing its interest rate policy.

Minutes showed the MPC again voted eight-to-one to keep interest rates on hold, with the relatively solid data from the gdp figures potentially adding to this sentiment.

As the last minutes noted: "There was some concern that a reduction in interest rates at this stage would provide further support to the housing market and consumption at a time when GDP [gross domestic product] growth was already strengthening, and that would increase the probability of inflation rising above the target in the medium term."