Commenting on both the MPC minutes published today and the publication of the ONS preliminary GDP figures for Q4 2007, David Kern, economic adviser to the British Chambers of Commerce, said:“The minutes confirm our assessment that the MPC has to balance downside risks to growth and upside risks to inflation but events since the meeting, particularly the Fed's move yesterday, support our assessment that a cut in rates would have been preferable.  Following yesterday's speech by Mervyn King, we are reassured that a small cut in UK rates will be made in February.  But we urge the MPC to move as quickly as possible to a 5.00% interest rate level. “GDP quarterly growth in Q4 2007 was 0.6%.  But year on year growth came down more sharply from 3.3% in Q3 to 2.9% in Q4, broadly supporting the messages conveyed by the BCC’s Quarterly Economic Survey published last week.  We believe that today’s preliminary figures showing 0.7% quarterly growth in services give an exaggerated impression of the sectors strength and maybe revised downwards.  Overall, today’s GDP figures are only of historical importance and should not deter from cutting rates.”