Commenting on today’s interest rate decision by the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“The Bank of England’s decision to keep interest rates unchanged was widely expected. The minutes from the latest MPC meeting confirm that although a change in interest rates is off the table for now, they remain ready to act if there is a material change in economic conditions.

“Further expected rises in the US interest rate in the coming months are likely to place further downward pressure on sterling, and could play a part in UK monetary policy decision-making over the next year.

“However, unlike the US Federal Reserve, the Bank of England is expected to face a tricky near-term trade-off between tackling rising inflation and slowing economic growth. A prolonged period of monetary stability is the most likely scenario. We currently expect that interest rates will remain on hold through 2017 and into 2018.

“With the impact of monetary policy close to its limits, it is vital that the government does more to support business growth, including addressing the rising input costs faced by businesses.”