Chamber welcomes interest rate decision

03 November 2016

Businesses leaders in Birmingham have welcomed the Bank of England’s decision to hold interest rates at 0.25 per cent.

But Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce chief executive Paul Faulkner (pictured) says the Government must further steady the ship by spelling out its economic strategy.

The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously not to cut interest rates after consumer spending, growth and business activity had proved resilient.

Also released today was the Bank of England Inflation report which improved its annual growth forecast from 2 per cent to 2.2 per cent for this year and from 0.8 per cent to 1.4 per cent in 2017.

However, it has cut 2018 growth forecast to 1.5 per cent from 1.8 per cent.

Mr Faulkner said: “With interest rates already close to zero and the economy performing better than expected, now is not the time for new interventions from the Bank of England.

“There may yet be choppy waters ahead with the activation of Article 50 and Brexit negotiations.

“It is vital that the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee keep some weapons in the arsenal for use at a later date.

“What we need now to further steady the ship is not intervention on monetary policy, but Government action.

“The Autumn Statement will provide Government with a crucial opportunity to demonstrate a pro-enterprise and outward facing position.

“We hope to see funding for investment in infrastructure, particularly in the West Midlands region, measures to incentivise investment and increased resources to support SMEs looking to export.”

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