Business welcomes Bank's decision to hold interest rates
Business leaders hope the Bank of England's decision to hold interest rates is “a signal towards the direction of travel the business community wants to see”.
The Bank's monetary policy committee (MPC) yesterday voted 5-4 - the narrowest possible margin - to leave the interest rate unchanged at 5.25 per cent.
The decision came a day after inflation unexpectedly fell by more than expected.
Up until the inflation data was released on Wednesday morning, markets had put an 80 per cent probability on the Bank raising the rate by a further quarter percentage point.
Cameron Uppal (pictured), policy and public affairs advisor at Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “With core inflation dropping again this week, the Bank of England's decision to hold interest rates will be welcomed by businesses, with many of the firms that we speak to across the Greater Birmingham region telling us the difficulties that they are struggling with debt repayment and taking out loans.
“It is telling than in our last Quarterly Business Report, 18 per cent of firms cited interest rates as more of a concern to their business than three months ago - with many grappling with spiralling costs, the use of interest rates as a blunt instrument to counteract inflation has likely had a knock-on impact for those businesses struggling to repay loans and impact levels of cash flow.
“Heightened rates have no doubt had an impact on household spending which in turn has dented consumer spending - a number of hospitality firms we work closely with have expressed their concerns around this trend.
“The Bank of England had indicated rates are nearing their peak, and hopefully yesterday announcement is a signal towards the direction of travel the business community wants to see.”