Commenting on today’s decision by the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee to raise the Bank Rate from 0.25% to 0.5%, Christian Spence, Head of Research and Policy at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce said:

“Today’s rise, the first in ten years, was not unexpected. The Committee hinted strongly in its previous meeting that a rise was likely this time. Whilst the increase is, as expected, small, and its effects on the economy overall will be small, it sends a strong reminder to consumers and businesses that interest rates can indeed increase.

“Whilst spreads on commercial and personal loans remain low, there will be little direct negative impact from this move, but it may cause some to reconsider the likely forward path of rates over the coming years. With the UK economy slowing over the past year to growth of 1.5%, a rise may feel unusual, particularly when in our judgement inflation will rise little further from its current level.

“This move is not without its risks, particularly with the current levels of uncertainty in the UK economy for both domestic reasons and with the ongoing Brexit negotiations. We reiterate our call to government to move rapidly to provide certainty to UK businesses across the country of their proposed policies for the coming years, and they must use the November budget to support business growth and confidence for the future.”

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About Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce is the largest Chamber of Commerce in the UK, providing business support to approximately 4,500 members who collectively employ 446,000 people, around one-third of Greater Manchester’s workforce.

Recognised as a leader in its field, Greater Manchester Chamber’s reputation in government circles has grown locally and nationally. At the heart of the area of greatest economic intensity outside London and the South East, the Chamber is the primary body for business support, policy, representation and networking.
The Chamber is an independent, not-for-profit private company and its aim is to support businesses and help create the best climate for the region to prosper. This is achieved by ensuring that those taking decisions on key issues such as transport, taxation and business regulation hear the voice of our members. The representation of our members’ views is central to the work of the policy team at the Chamber; these views are gathered in a range of ways including our local councils, policy committees, sector councils, the main Chamber council, focus groups, meetings with politicians and consultations.

The Chamber also offers a range of networking forums across Greater Manchester, free as part of membership, plus a variety of other events and services designed to benefit specific sectors or individuals and help businesses to grow.